In William Shakespeares play Othello, there lurks an evil that far issurpasses the darkness of the devil, it lies in the antagonist Iago. Othello whopasses Iago up for a promotion simply because Iago is not a arithmetician,swears to take his revenge and destroy the moor and every thing Othello holdsdear. Through this Iago plays judge, jury, and executioner, but is Iagosjustice justified or does his justice go far beyond the point of justice that hecrosses the line. Once that line is crossed there is a point of no return.
Allbarriers that may have at one point existed are now broken. Iagos justice cannever be justified, by taking or causing the bloodshed of the innocent for hisown personal gain is no more justified then murder in cold blood. What everpromotion Iago is entitled to or what ever rights he may have is gone when hedecides to create his own law. Nor should he posses the power to influence anddecide the fate of others.Order now
“I hate the Moor;. . . . . .
. . Hell and night must bringthis monstrous birth to the worlds light” (I. ii.
20). Iago intend to”abuse Othellos ear” and convince Othello his wife Desdemona is anadultress, “framed to make women false” (I. i. 20). Iago plans to bring thedevils evil to earth in order to get his revenge on Othello. Although Iagosjustice can never be justified his anger pointed towards Othello can be.
Despiteall the rage, fury, resentment, prejudice, and anger Iago feels towards Othello;Iago feels all this and more to the appointed lieutenant Michael Cassio. ForCassio has never had experience on the battle field, “A fellow almost damndin a fair wife; That never set a squadron in the field, Nor the division of abattle knows” (I. i. 1). Iago also points out that “preferment goes by letterand affection” (I.
i. 2). Iago is well aware of the fact that he is morequalified for the position but choices are based upon brain and not achievementson the field. In Iagos pursuit of destroying the Moor and achieving hisrightful position he destroys so many lives. Michael Cassio is soon striped ofhis position due to Iagos deceit.
Othellos fair wife Desdemona is murderedby her own husband after Othellos mind is poisoned by the “honest” Iago. Iago leads Othello to believe that Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair,Iago not only accomplishes this by words of deceit but by providing “proof”. After attaining the first gift Othello ever gave to Desdemona he plans “inCassios lodging lose this napkin, and let him find it. Trifles light as airAre to the jealous confirmations strong as proofs of holy writ: this may dosomething. The Moor already changes with my poison: Dangerous conceits are inthe natures poisons, Which at the first are scarce found to distaste but with alittle act upon blood burn like the mines of sulphur” (III.
iii. 50). Afterdeciding the fate of Michael Cassio, Desdemona, Othello, Roderigo, Emilia, andhis own, Iago can no longer justify his actions or his revenge when confronted. Othello asks “why hath thus ensnared my soul and body” all Iago could say inresponse is “demand me nothing; what you know, you know: from this time forthI never will speak word” (V.
ii. 90). In Iagos silence and refusal to give”justified” reasons to his crusade is speechlessness. If his reasons were indeed justified Iago would have spoken in his own defense. In the end of thisShakespeare tragedy order is restored, Iago is brought to justice.
But notbefore the blood of the innocent is shed. Revenge by hurting and condemning theinnocent while in pursuit of personal gain is never justified. Although Iagosanger towards Othello may have been, Iagos justice crosses the line. Allbarriers that separate the human race from man and animal have been broken down.
For Iago to decide the fate of so many innocent in pursuit of hurting Othellomakes him no different than Satan.