I’m reading Othello right now (one of the set books on my course) and I must say I have thoroughly enjoyed it – a revelation in itself since I found Shakespeare dull at school.
As I am sure you know, Iago is the anti-hero of one of Shakespeare’s most well-known tragedies. Some of my fellow students love him as a character but I just can’t. Whilst I agree that his self-serving nature and will to succeed makes him far more compelling than say, the weakling Roderigo (a perfect foil to the scheming Iago), I just find him loathsome, a complete shit, quite frankly. I’ve written ‘what a bast**d’ quite a few times in the margin which is down to Shakespeare’s amazing ability to write such a believable character.
I guess you could say that Iago is a universal character and we see him portrayed today in many movies, TV series and books: the person we love to hate. The character Jack Bass in Gossip Girl comes to mind as a modern embodiment of deviousness and slit-eyed manipulation; Iago would have loved him! To me Iago represents the darker side of human nature, the part of us we all choose to deny – the ability to be snide, deceiving and manipulative.
Othello was a thrilling read and finally I understand the genius that is William Shakespeare; it’s only taken me thirty years!
Categories: Just Thoughts