London councils at the time thought that theatre should not allow the audience to relate to villainous characters as was a negative influence on society so the character Of Ago is very unusual and complex. Ago is man driven by his own motives throughout the entire play. Manipulating others to do things in his favor. Through Sago’s actions in the play we can come to the conclusion that Shakespeare has only partly created a character of tragic villainous qualities with no redeeming features due to his honest virtues which can be seen when Othello strikes Desman in public and Ladylove asks
Ago if Othello is always like this. Ago says “It is not honesty in me to speak/ What I have seen and known, You shall observe him, / and his own courses will denote him so/That I may save my speech” (4. 2. LILLO-271 Also we directly hear from Othello in Act 2 scene 3 that “Ago is most honest” which shoves that Othello, who Ago is plotting against, thinks that Ago is a reliable friend of his. Later on during the scene, after Cassia is drunk, Ago tells Montana that Cassia is a drunk and Montana instructs Ago to tell Othello out of loyalty “It were an honest action to say/ So to the Moor”.
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Through the two contrasting sides to Ago we see a man who is well liked by people and is control of the situation which could be a negative thing, due to power and influence being too strong making manipulation extremely easy. Shakespeare also creates the character Ago as more of a prominent tragic villain rather than a character With a tragic ending, as he is the main dynamic behind pushing Othello and the other characters towards their own tragic ending. Ago is consumed With jealously and plots to steal the position Which Othello unsuitably gave to Cassia.
Ago deceives, steals and kills to gain his position. Ago does not lose his conscience to commit these acts, as he was amoral before the position was given. Sago’s amorality can be seen throughout the play with his dubious actions and deceptive mannerisms. This cunningness which Shakespeare added to the character of Ago presents Ago as a smart man. Being as smart as he is, Ago takes advantage of the trust put upon him by Othello who commonly calls him “Honest Ago” With Sago’s villainous traits he abuses trust and uses it for his own good at the cost of Adhesion’s life.
Shakespeare has created a character Which Other characters rarely stop and ponder that Ago could be manipulating them “And what’s he then that says play the villain, / when this advice is free I give, and honest”. Othello holds Ago to be his closest friend and advisor; he believes that Ago is a person “of exceeding honesty” who “knows all qualities, with learned spirit of human dealings. ” (3. 3. LILLO-262) Through the villain created by Shakespeare we know that Ago knows a lot about controlling humans, but we also know that he is not honest and is using the trust Othello puts upon him to turn Othello into a “green-eyed monster.