Iago in the tragedy by Shakespeare is more than just a villain. Iago, who destroyed the happiness of noble and trusting people and brought them to death, in his outlook embodies the dark, the back side of the Renaissance. He is not just a villain’ he is a reasonable man, alive and active. But all the destructive behavior of Iago is defined by the destructive principle – predation and individualism that are characteristic features of psychology. Iago’s attitude towards people is predetermined by his convictions in their deceit and depravity. The main motives of human behavior in his sense are greed, immorality, and sober calculation. Love in his view is lust.
Iago hates Othello and Desdemona because all their lives they deny the predatory of Iago’s world. Iago hates Othello for his humanity; he cannot think of Othello as a hero. He aims not only to eliminate or destroy Othello, but seeks ways to humiliate him. Thus he directed his shot on Othello’s soul – love for Desdemona.
Gradually, he weaves intrigues, poisons the soul of Othello with suspicions in jealousy, playing on his credulity. He feels pleasure from what violates someone else’s harmony. Although Iago talks about his practical considerations, complaining that Othello didn’t give him the lieutenant rank, then he admits that he was gnawing with suspicion that his wife Emilia cheated on him Othello. Iago gives so many different reasons for his hatred of Othello that the reader gets the impression that none of these reasons are true motives of Iago. Iago is different from all other Shakespeare’s characters by the fact that he is not capable of contrition; he is not able to comprehend this truly human quality. Here he makes a single miscalculation – if he is not capable of remorse, he does not take into account that other people are capable of contrition.
Image of Emilia, Iago’s wife, greatly presented by Shakespeare, is directly involved in the action. Emilia after finding a handkerchief that Desdemona dropped gives it to her husband, who throws it to Cassio. This seemingly ordinary woman suddenly in a decisive moment without being afraid of death exposes her husband in the crime.
Everything seems to going according to the plan: no witnesses, Desdemona is killed, Othello stabbed her. But Iago’s wife is destroying him. She cannot stand her husband’s crime and extradites him. Emilia is changing throughout the tragedy, but Iago stays static. At first, she listens to him, though their relations are far from ideal, but then she starts a riot. Iago’s rage kills her, but the guards arrest him.
Iago in the tragedy by Shakespeare is more than just a villain. Iago, who destroyed the happiness of noble and trusting people and brought them to death, in his outlook embodies the dark, the back side of the Renaissance. He is not just a villain’ he is a reasonable man, alive and active.