With the tale of love, betrayal and the jealousy, Shakespeare has plotted the Othello from the collection of tales of the Italian writer Giovanni Giraldi. The tales have the different kinds of love which include the marriage. The literary critics have observed that Shakespeare has included various ideas in his play which are directly linked to the stories written by the Giraldi. The tragedy of Othello was written in the year of 1603. The drama is based on the Moorish captain who was written by the Cinthio in 1565. The play revolves around the two primary characters. Othello who was general in the Moorish army and his clever ensign Lago. The play include different themes like the revenge, betrayal and the racism. Various literary films, drams and the operatic have adopted the play. Professional communities still perform the play in their theaters.
The belonging of the play is with Othello however, the lago has also played the significant role. The character has the most substantial dialogue in the play. He also represents the archetypal villain. From the start of the play, Lago portrayed as the villain. He was also brilliant and easily override the other characters. He manipulates the others while controlling the action of characters and trap them in his net of the lies. Other characters consider him as the honest while he under cover of the honesty expand his control over their role and activities. In the same way, by playing with the weaknesses of other characters, he gets close to them and achieves his desired goals (Alkoli, 419). Many critics including the Harold Bloom have placed their focused on the role of Lago and supported the ideas about his role as the villain. The literary critics of the twentieth century have focused more on the Othello.
Various characteristics are associated with the character of the Lago. He is the main antagonist of the play. He played his role as the standard bearer of the Othello. His wife Emilia was the attendant of the wife of Othello. The most important aspect of the personality of lago was his hate against the Othello. He dislikes the hero of the play. He often devises the number of the plans to destroy the hero. He gradually and by plan told the Othello that his wife has an affair with the Michael Cassio, who was the lieutenant of the Othello. The role of the lago was considered that it was first played by the Robert Armin in the previous plays of Shakespeare. The Armin played the typically intelligent and smart role. The character of the lago is merely the ensign.
Shakespeare has closely followed the tale of the Cinthio while composing the play Othello. In that story, the ensign suffers from the wanton lust for the wife of Moors. Lago was somehow related to that character who had the lust for power and self-purposes. Lago fought for Othello and became his close and trusted advisor. At the beginning of the player, Lago was unfairly promoted to the rank of lieutenant. He successfully plots to demote the Cassio in the eyes of Othello. While doing this, he brings the downfall of the Othello himself. His friend Roderigo also help him in plotting with the hope that after the end of Othello’s rule he might get the affection of the Desdemona, the wife of the hero. After removing the Cassio’s from the scene, he began his work to believe that his wife has the certain unfair relationship with the Cassio. The character of the Lago went through the number of plans which are only meant to get some power and rule over the other aspects.
The Machiavellian art and the tactics implied by the Lago are successful as the other characters of the play trust and considered him as the truthful person. He mostly shows that noble action that compels his companions to believe his honesty (Geng, 281). Othello kills his wife on the dominant scheme of Lago. However, his wife unfolded his treachery to which he immediately kills her in a rage. Critics have different views over the representation of lago’s character by the Shakespeare. The writers have discussed the complexity of the Lago which shows that he played the treacherous and faithful role at the same time. The western critics portray the character as the psychopath. Some of the writers are of the view that his fear compelled lago and it was not his malice for deceiving the hero of the play.
In our daily lives, we have been driven by certain evil forces that were attached with the Lago. Being a human being, we have certain lust and greed in our will and intellect. However, the most critical point is that there are very few people that are selfless in this world. Shakespeare in this regard has tried to portray the inner instinct of human which sometimes make them, worse than the beast. We have friends, peer, and the faithful followers. We also encounter the certain unbearable situation when seeing that our most loyal friend like Brutus in King Lear became enemy just to fulfill his lust for power or the particular goal. In the same way, the character of Othello was highly impressive for the readers it also lost the glory when trapped by the close aide lago.
The Othello was brave and the competent general of the Moorish with the background of the Venetian (Rajeswaran, 47). He was technically trapped by the military officer and his close friend. After killing his wife on the charge of adultery, he was unable to face the truth that was revealed by the wife of Lago. He instantly kills himself. The Lago then proceeded for the charge of treason and killing of his wife.
Concluding the discussion on the play Othello and the character of the lago we have the idea that jealousy, betrayal and the love are the primary motives in our lives. In our practical experience, we also face certain jealous, treacherous and the loved people. The lust unveiled in the character of Lago reveals that man could be worse than beats when it left the fundamental principles of the humanity. Despite complexities in the figures, Shakespeare has successfully unfolded the real picture of the human society. Studies continue and elaborating the different themes of the play.
ALKOLI, HIND ABDUALLAH, and Shi Ji. “An Analysis of Power Desire of Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello from Psychological Perspectives.” Journal of Literature and Art Studies 8.3 (2018): 417-421.
Geng, Zhao, et al. “ShakerVis: visual analysis of segment variation of German translations of Shakespeare’s Othello.” Information Visualization 14.4 (2015): 273-288.
Rajeswaran, M. Chandrasena, and S. Padmasani Kannan. “Pragmatic Failure behind Shakespearean Catastrophe: A Study in Othello.” IUP Journal of English Studies 11.3 (2016): 47.