Shakespeare uses Iagoto demonstrate the persistence and unwillingnessto be passive when his dignity is in question. He refuses to give up or let goof the fact that the lieutenancy was not given to him, and he finds as manyreasons as possible to hate and ruin Othello. He makes Cassio drunk to dosomething that would take his honor taken away, then throws Othello into ajealous rage by convincing him that Cassio and Desdemona are secretly together.”How am I then a villainTo counsel Cassio to this parallel course,Directly to his good?” (2.3 Lines 257-259)Perhaps guilty conscience, Iago claimsto himself that he is not the villain, as he shares “wise” words to help Cassio.He provides Cassio with open and honest advice, and Iago didn’t have otherplans, Cassio could have successfully win the Moor over through Desdemona –however, Iago knows that none of that would happen because he was not going tolet go of his plan.
Determined to destroy Othello, he would not accept anythingthat would go against his desires.”Oh, you are well tuned now,But I’ll set down the pegs that make this music, As honest as I am.” (2.1 Lines 185-187)The thought of destroying thehappiness of those who had supposedly wronged him makes him incredibly giddy.
Hissadism shines through and it is evident that he is never turn back – he woulddo everything in his power to earn back his dignity, and nothing was going tostop him from getting what he wanted. As a result of Iago’s heinousplans, the destruction of the people around him, including Othello, Desdemona,Emilia, Cassio, and Roderigo are affected in all aspects. His manipulativeskills make the people who call him “Honest Iago” almost comical. The respectthat others show him proves their naivety and that he is beyond clever. “And for I know thou ‘rt full oflove and honestyAnd weigh’st thy words beforethou giv’st them breath,Therefore, these stops of thinefright me the more.For such things in a falsedisloyal knaveAre tricks of custom, but in aman, that’s justThey are close dilations,working from the heart,That passion cannot rule.
” (3.3Lines 125-131)Othello, being thewhole-hearted person that he is and trusting Iago, says that he is full of loveand honesty, and irony comes to play when Othello states, “such things in adisloyal knave are tricks”, even though Iago is doing the exact same thing. Notuntil the very end of the play was he referred to as a “demo-devil”. Hisbetrayal and inhumane decisions shocks many characters in “Othello”, and themanipulation and brutal ruthlessness posits an evil in his environment.Unfortunately, Iago is concluded as unrepentant. He shows absolutely no remorsefor the things he did and viciously says: “demand me nothing; what you know you know.
From this time forth I neverwill speak word”, and his true motives are never truly revealed. Ultimately, Iago’scharacter and traits shine as Miller’s definition of a tragic hero. The depths that he is willing to go to, the endless need to earn backwhat he wants, the unwillingness to be passive when his dignity is challenged,and the ultimate destruction to the people around him all point to fact that heis the tragic hero in Shakespeare’s “Othello”.