Character and Iago

Table of contents

The Balance of Iago and Desdemona’s Characters in Othello

In William Shakespeare’s tragic play Othello the balance of good versus evil is seen in Desdemona and Iago. “Every character is […] balanced by another similar or contrasting character”(Kernan 877). We see this balance in Desdemona’s “innocence” and Iago’s corrupting hatred (877). The effects both Iago and Desdemona have on the main character Othello throughout the play only help to show this balance. Othello becomes the tragic work of art due to the balancing of Iago’s hatred and Desdemona’s loyalty throughout the play.

At the beginning of the play, Iago’s hatred is evident through his desire to have revenge on Othello. As he speaks to Roderigo, he discusses this hatred for Othello. “These fellows have some soul, / And such a one do I profess myself. / It is as sure as you are Roderigo, / Were I the Moor I would not be Iago. / In following him, I follow but myself- / Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty, / But seeming so for my peculiar end. ” (Shakespeare 1. 1. 56-62). From this Iago begins his plot to overtake Othello by manipulating others to do his bidding which only adds to the extremity of his character.

With his plot in motion, Iago, according to Amy Clark, uses a special technique to trick Othello by “cleverly [appearing] to be reluctant to speak ill against others. ” This technique “makes Othello not suspect Iago of any dishonest behavior” (Clark). This is where Othello believes his so called friend over his wife. This method that Clark speaks of shows Iago’s deceit towards Othello. Iago says to Othello, “Cassio:/ In sleep I heard him say “Sweet Desdemona,/ Let us be wary, let us hide our loves”;/ And then, sir, would he gripe and wring my hand,/ Cry “O sweet creature! and then kiss me hard,/ then laid his leg/ Over my thigh, and sigh’d, and kiss’d; and/ Cried “Cursed fate that gave thee to the Moor! ” (Shakespeare 3. 3. 418-426) Iago is also willing to do almost anything to get his revenge. This is proven again at the denouement of the play, when Iago kills his own wife, as she tells Othello that Desdemona was in fact innocent. Iago tries to shut Emilia up from stating the truth by saying, “Zounds, hold your piece” (Shakespeare 5. 2. 231), “Be wise, and get you home” (Shakespeare 5. 2. 236), “Villainous whore! (Shakespeare 5. 2. 243) and “Filth, thou liest! ” (Shakespeare 5. 2. 246). Iago isn’t successful in shutting Emilia up until he stabs her and she dies. Iago manipulates and twists many actions within this play to help him succeed in his revenge against Othello; however, in the end of the play it is not only Othello but also Iago who creates his own demise. Desdemona in turn balances out Iago’s pure hatred with the love and devotion she has towards her husband. Desdemona says to Othello, “For ‘twas that hand that gave away my heart” (Shakespeare 3. . 43) proving that her love and devotion was for Othello, and Othello only. William Long says that this is shown in Desdemona’s “exposition of the reasons she loves Othello [and this helps to define] her essential character as a woman of loyalty and fidelity to him” (Long). This can also be seen when Desdemona is questioned about leaving Venice to follow Othello to Cyprus. She says, “The rites for why I love him are bereft me,/ And I a heavy interim shall support / By his dear absence.

Let me go with him” (Shakespeare 1. 3. 258-60). As the play comes to its climax, we can see the effect that Desdemona has on her husband. Overcome with a jealous rage, due to the fact that he thinks Desdemona is cheating on him, and thanks to Iago’s hatred, Othello ends up killing her despite her pleas. Although, Desdemona is completely innocent of this act, she remains faithful to her husband in her last breath as she declares to Emilia that “nobody” did this to her except herself (Shakespeare 5. 2. 128).

Othello has been called one of William Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies, and throughout the entire play, Alvin Kerman’s theory of each character having another character that is “similar or contrasting” to create balance is shown directly through the characters Iago and Desdemona (877). Othello’s corruptive behavior is caused by Iago’s hatred and is balanced by her innocence as well as her love and devotion for her husband. The balances they create make Othello the tragedy it is known as today.

Works Cited

Clark, Amy. “Analyze The Techniques Iago Uses to Plant Suspicion In Othello’s Mind. Coursework. Info. Web. 03 Apr. 2012
Kernan, Alvin. “The Complete Signet Classic Shakespeare. ” Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama and Writing. Ed. X. J. Kenndy and Dana Gioia. 4th ed. New York: Longman, 2012. 877. Print. 03 Apr. 2012
Long, William R. “Desdemona’s Love and Othello. ” Dr. William Long and Dr. Bill Long. 1 Jan. 2004. Web. 03 Apr. 2012. Shakespeare, William. Othello, The Moor of Venice.
Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama and Writing. Ed. X. J. Kenndy and Dana Gioia. 4th ed. New York: Longman, 2012. 762-875. Print. 03 Apr. 2012

Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
$0.00
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with MyhomeworkGeeks
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
Testimonials
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
Nursing
Usually, references need to be within the past 5 years. Thank you :)
Customer 452547, July 16th, 2021
Nursing
Thank you
Customer 453087, March 5th, 2022
Human Resources Management (HRM)
On time and as always a great service! This semester has been very time consuming a tough for my family so this service has not only been a life saver but helped me keep up my grades! If you are in a time crunch or need help, don't hesitate! They are worth it!
Customer 453077, April 4th, 2022
Human Resources Management (HRM)
My son and I have been sick for two weeks, of course at the end of my semester. I am so grateful that myhomeworkgeeks were able to help! Both papers got A's and I couldn't be more thrilled! Thank you so much and don't forget to tip your writer!
Customer 453077, February 22nd, 2022
Business Studies
Thank you so much! I had to take my dog to the ER and had no time for the assignment. I really appreciate your help! I can't thank you enough! I really appreciate the work and integrity put into it. Thank you for taking it seriously and not bullshiting the paper.
Customer 452815, July 26th, 2021
English 101
very good paper thank you.
Customer 453083, February 18th, 2022
Nursing
thank you so much
Customer 452749, June 10th, 2021
Human Resources Management (HRM)
I finished the first deliverable of a project presentation but had no time to finish my second deliverable. The writer revamped my first deliverable and made it much more appealing! Not only was I impressed with the content but I was so grateful for the time they took to redo the background. I have been under a lot of pressure at work and at home so this has been a great service when I have had little time! I appreciate the detail and help! Always on time and always exceeding expectations!
Customer 453077, April 5th, 2022
Psychology
Came in as promissed. Good paper.
Customer 453027, January 6th, 2022
Business and administrative studies
awesome work
Customer 453201, June 15th, 2022
Classic English Literature
It was my first time using such a service. Essay was good and nicely formatted.
Customer 452441, February 16th, 2022
Business Management
Awesome job, Thank you
Customer 453201, June 12th, 2022
11,595
Customer reviews in total
96%
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
37%
Customers referred by a friend
OUR GIFT TO YOU
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat
Live ChatWhatsApp

Are You Looking For Assignment Help? We Can Certainly Assist You