Othello

Iago's Role in Othello's Downfall 12th Grade

Othello is a tragedy by William Shakespeare set in Venice. Othello is a highly respected general and Iago is his ambitious comrade. Othello promotes Michael Cassio to the position of lieutenant and Iago becomes extremely jealous. Iago begins plotting against Othello, the eponymous hero, and turns him against his wife, Desdemona, daughter of the senator of Venice, Brabantio, by telling him of her supposed infidelity with his lieutenant, Cassio. In a fit of jealous rage, Othello smothers Desdemona to death. Emilia, Iago’s wife, then speaks the truth of Iago’s plan to Othello and Othello lashes out in his anger by wounding Iago. He then kills himself out of grief for the loss of Desdemona and of guilt. Iago kills Emilia out of anger at her betrayal and is arrested for his crimes. Iago is the tragic villain of the play as he works opposite to the hero and provokes the eponymous hero’s own fatal flaws, which leads to the tragic conclusion. Iago is regarded as a powerful, Machiavellian villain and antagonist as he holds the majority of the lines, almost double to that of the protagonist and tragic hero, Othello, giving him power over Othello as well as the space to use the maximum amount of words to manipulate the hero into...

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