Defamiliarizing Iago in Othello: To be or not to be the Hero, that is the Question

Abstract

There is a customary notion that Shakespeare’s Othello portrays Iago as an evil character who disturbs the smooth lifestyle of the protagonist, Othello. But if Iago was absent, would the play develop? Would Othello become round character and therefore the protagonist? Would there be any play written on the flat character of Othello? It leads us to pave the way for a second thought regarding Iago’s role. This paper aims to analyze his character and seek alternative ways of comprehending him so that the traditional idea can be destabilized and a new scope can emerge. The paper examines him by means of textual analysis to explore the features of his thoughts and actions. Then narrative analysis locates the structure which may situate him in the category of hero. It restrains us to be judgmental or make hurry to digest the typically long-accepted conclusion. There can be insights available out there of making him the villain. The paper doesn’t intend to renounce or check them, rather it argues that it’s not the ultimate outcome for which the other possibilities should be weighed down or go unheeded. It wants to shed light on the other paths that may avail Iago to make his journey to heroism. Which contention is more relevant, valuable or appropriate that’s not its point. But the directions should not be limited.

Keywords: Controlling power, Iago, Narrative structure, Title of the play, hero

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 20-30 (Download PDF)

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