Free Othello Essays: The Meaning of Othello Othell

o essaysThe Meaning of Othello
Shakespeare has been a part of everyone’s life. There is not one person who hasn’t heard of him. There are some plays that are more well known than others. All of his plays have been studied with a fine tooth comb, and there is probably no secret left in his plays that hasn’t been discovered. In one of his more well known plays is Othello. Much has been written about this play and what it is supposed to mean. The main character in this play is none other then Othello. The other main character is Iago. The bad guy, the one that has to cause trouble. Yet why does he do it? Does he feel any remorse, or does he do it for the pure pleasure? One may argue that he does it because he has no heart, and that he is acting from a deeper source. Iago knows what he’s doing, and he loves it.
The first evil thing that we see Iago do is to get Cassio kicked out of the army. The simple reason for why Iago does it, is because it wasn’t him. If Cassio was out of the army, Igao would have the position. As in most of Shakespeare’s work there’s a deeper meaning. Iago likes to have power over any situation, and has to be in charge. He needs to be slightly above the average person, and what better way to do that, then being a lieutenant. He also might do it, for the fun of it. He does what he does, because he can. He knows what to say and do to get his way. He knows that to set up, and how everything is going to play out. In some ways Iago is to smart for his own good. He enjoys being able to play with peoples heads.
After Iago successfully gets Cassio kicked out, Iago goes after the top man himself, Othello. He goes after the one area where Othello is happy, which is his wife Desdemona. For once Othello is happy, so Iago has to destroy that. He carefully chooses his words and plants the seeds of jealousy in Othello’s mind. Iago uses the little things to get to people. By using just a handkerchief he gets what he wants. That is why Iago is so clever, what he does results in something big, but to achieve that is all very simple. It’s almost as if anyone could be doing what he’s doing. Now that Iago has the full trust of Othello, he now has the power over him.
Now that he has this power, why doesn’t he stop there? Possibly he’s bored. All he has done is war. Not that war is boring, but after a while you get immune to it. Once Iago gets Othello to hate Desdemona, he breaks their marriage. Othello is so trusting of Iago, he doesn’t even hesitate in believing him. Not that Desdemona is completely innocent, if she was why is the word “demon” in her name? Even though Iago isn’t holding the sword he’s the reason Desdemona dies in the end. No matter how clever the bad guy is, at the end their caught. They either get killed or spend the rest or their lives in prison. That’s what never makes sense. Iago is so clever, he ruins the lives of everyone around him, yet at the end he just gives up, and gets sent off to prison.
Why does he do the things that he does? It’s who Iago is. Iago is pure evil, he is because he knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s evil because he is extremely clever. He does it because he needs to be in control. Maybe he does it because that’s his role in the play. If he wasn’t there, then the play would be a boring one. If the character wasn’t there then the story would be exactly like Romeo and Juliet. If he wasn’t there, then there wouldn’t be struggle between good and evil. Iago plays a similar role to Hamlet. He has two different personalities. The one that the other characters see, and the one especially for us. The face that Iago puts on for the rest of the characters is a sweet and unsuspecting one. Everyone loves Iago, and values what he has to say. His character is shy and not very out going. Very similar to Hamlet when he was putting on a show for the rest of his family. The face that Iago shows us is much different. It would be as if the stage went dark and his voice would change, as if it were a completely different person. He’s evil, when he tells us what he’s going to do next. He shows no remorse, and it seems that he doesn’t really care what the out come is going to do to other people. That act is slightly different from the other face of Hamlet. Hamlet mostly talks about what’s going on in his head, and how confused he is, and when he’s going to act. The only similar thing is, he tells us what he has in store for the people around him. Another similarity is that they are not crazy. Hamlet wanted people to believe that he was crazy, but when it was only us he was speaking to, it was obvious he wasn’t. Iago is the same way. They couldn’t be crazy because their plans are thought out to well, no crazy person could come up with plans the two of them did.
Does Iago have a heart? And if he does what is it made out of? Iago does have a heart. If he didn’t have one, he wouldn’t know how to get to Othello. He wouldn’t know how love even worked. He tends to ignore it though. He doesn’t let it get in his way. He knows what he wants, and he doesn’t even know why. Why wouldn’t he have one? The argument for the other side is, since he doesn’t have a heart, that’s why he does what he does. He’s too clever for that, Iago is clever, and he knows it. He knows that he can get what he wants if he applies himself, and that’s what he does. There are lot’s of ideas to why Iago does what he does. Possibly he loves Othello and doesn’t want him with Desdemona. Jealousy is strong, but not that strong, but it’s as good a reason as any. Maybe he’s not even human. He’s part devil one could say. He’s constantly making references to hell, and the beasts that come from it.
All in all Iago is a very smart man who knows what he wants. He does what he does because he can. All his plans are simple so why should the motive be a complicated one? There’s no reason for there to be one. Iago never learns his lesson, not even at the end. If the book continued, it would probably turn out that Iago would get off, and leave town and begin to do the same things all over again. Iago isn’t a very complicated character he says what he wants, and then he does it. He does what he does because he can, and he’s got nothing better to do. The idea that Iago is some sort of evil being from outside this world is also very interesting. It gives a good explanation for what he is doing. Yet there would be some mention of it somewhere more obvious in his words. The whole play is very simple, Iago’s plans are very simple, and so are his reasons.

About the author