Lago the Antagonist
Usually in any story or a lot of stories there is an antagonist who plays an important role that may sometimes be mischievous or compelling to act against another character or characters. In the play “Othello”, Iago ends up being a very witty antagonist who entraps many characters into his games of winning the love of Desdemona. He works against Othello by attempting to destroy him mentally, since Othello isn’t that wise. As Iago says, “I follow him to serve my turn upon him” (pg 1250). As he says this, he is almost turning and addressing the crowd about how much he hates Othello.
As Iago builds more and more hatred and jealousy towards Othello, he begins to add other characters into his monster and tricky acts. He also becomes to realize that his friend Roderigo has a crush on Desdemona, so he manipulates Roderigo for his money, jewels and obedience to get him to Desdemona’s love. Iago saw this as a way to make Roderigo follow along to also ruin Othello. Roderigo is also advised to spoil Othello’s marriage by rousing Desdemona’s family against the general. He led many characters to a direction that would make him look good at the end of his plan, but in the end.
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All of these characters would end up being killed or mislead. In the first scene he seems to be upset because Othello passed Iago over for the position of lieutenant. Iago could tell Barbanzio did not approve of his daughters marriage to Othello. Iago would feed Barbanzio news that Othello is nothing but a moor, and he just had a sexual intent. As time starts to go on, Iago begins to tell Othello everything about Roderigo being in love with Desdemona and how he wants her. This shows that Iago has gone behind Roderigo’s back and that he his not loyal, and he is a traitor.
Readers are able to figure out that Iago is not a trustworthy character by this act. Roderigo finds out that Desdemona is head over heels for Othello, and he wants to drown himself. This is when Iago had to talk him out of this. Iago tells Roderigo that if he keeps giving him money and jewels, he will still help him find his way to gain Desdemona’s love. Roderigo falls for this again, and is still trapped into Iago’s little games. Throughout the acts, readers are still able to see that Iago is deceiving and wants everything to work in his way of what he has planned.
Iago addresses Desdemona about taking Cassio’s position after Desdemona tells Iago that she is not dependent of her husband, and that she can do things on her own. Cassio took Iago’s position, so he wanted to destroy Cassio, also. He carries this idea out till the end of the play. Iago becomes the “spider” of the play because his plans have all came together and he has created tension between Desdemona and Cassio. Iago creates the idea that Desdemona has been unfaithful and not trustworthy to Othello with Cassio. Othello would become more and more insecure and jealous because of the traps Iago plants.
This is when Othello decides to take his own life and Desdemona is also killed in the outcome. Iago ends up killing Emilia (his wife) because of his conceiving ways. Iago also had Cassio set up to be killed, but he ends up living and Iago does not gain power. Iago suffers and will be tortured and will eventually be killed. He says at the end of the play, “Demand me nothing. What you know, you know. From this time forth I will never speak a word” (pg. 1346). Iago is stuck in lies and he will no longer trap people into the despairing games he plays. He is caught and he will suffer because of all the others he made suffer.