” Does Shakespeare create villains who are evil or Is he presenting characters whose motivations are misunderstood? ” Shakespearean Othello is a haunting tragedy in which the motivations of the main antagonist Ago often seem unclear. The play demonstrates the hold that psychological manipulation and suggestion can have even on a virtuous character of integrity like Othello himself. The central antagonist of the play is Ago, a man who is motivated by resentfulness, jealousy Love and suspicion to manipulate the events and lives of those around him.
It is easy to interpret Ago simply as the embodiment of evil, as all the characters describe him as a nice and trustworthy person but it turns out he Is two faced as the other characters are forced into his twisted way and lies. But Shakespeare presents us with a more rounded and complex character, I do not see Ago as evil I see him as someone who Is Just In love and would do anything to steel Adhesion’s heart he may not be doing It In the right way but I do not think he is pure evil and wants everyone dead as It could be interpreted.
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In the opening scene of the play, Ago lets the audience know that his intention to manipulate the lives around him is motivated by resentfulness upon Othello as he was not chosen to be one of his lieutenant, and his love for Desman. For example, he says: Michael Cassia, a Florentine, A fellow almost damned in a fair wife; That never set a squadron In the field”… This tells us that Ago is hateful towards Othello for choosing Cassia over him for the promotion, Ago believes he Is more qualified than Cassia.
However, even prior to this the first three lines of the play, said by Ordering, also let he audience know that Ago may be motivated by money and hatred. “I take it much unkindly That thou, Ago, who hast had my purse As if the strings were thin, should know of this. ” This tells us that Roding thought him and Ago were friends but now feels he is using him for his money and doesn’t hate Othello at all. Therefore we can assume that Ordering doesn’t understand Sago’s ways and that Sago’s Judgment is clouded by his Jealousy. Thus, while it is tempting to see Ago simply as the embodiment of evil, Shakespeare uses things like emotions e. . Jealousy, love, hate and friendship to let the audience know that his ways are misunderstood and not Just evil. Furthermore, It seems clear that Ago Is, In contemporary terms, a racist. This can be ascertained by the way he refers to Othello as “Barbara horse,” an “old black ram,” or an “erring barbarian” . These Insults against him to play with other peoples emotions. Ago even has suspicions that Othello has seduced his own wife Emilie. In addition to this, we sense another motivation behind lags actions in his suggestion that Othello has committed adultery with his wife.
This is suggested by the lines: “And it is thought abroad that ‘twixt my sheets He has done my office: I know not fit be true;” Then, shortly afterwards, he says: “l do suspect the lusty Moor Hath leaped into my seat: the thought whereof Doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards; And nothing can or shall content my soul Till I am evened with him, wife for wife. ” The fear that Othello may have cheated on his wife leads us to suspect that maybe Othello isn’t the all good character everyone thinks he is and that Ago now has seasoning as to why he hates Othello and wants him gone.
Thus, Ago is primarily depicted as a character who believes that life has treated him unfairly. Due to the fact that he was not chosen for a promotion which he thought suited him, the women he had an infatuation with was taken by one who he had now despised also believing that whilst Othello had taken his crush he had also slept with his wife. In conclusion, Shakespeare presents us with a character we are never really certain why it is Ago wants to destroy Othello but throughout the play Ago provides multiple datives for hating Othello at one point he says he is angry at Othello because he passed him over for a promotion.
Then he suspects that Othello is having an affair with his wife Emilie. We could say that Ago has no real motives and that he’s Just plain evil. If we agree that Ago has no real motives for hurting Othello, we could also argue that Sago’s character is someone who is Immoral. We follow lags storyline more than Othello. We watch him in a selection of relationships e. G. His influence on Ordering, his behavior towards his wife and his fake friendship with Othello.