Othello, one of the most famous tragedies written by William Shakespeare, owes its fame to the most complex plot and intriguing characters. Writing an Othello research paper involves an in-depth study of the characters; but if you are doing a character analysis on any one of the characters then it becomes necessary to study that particular character from all possible angles.
The two most debated characters of the play are Othello himself and the villain of the story, Iago. After the first reading, most people form a completely positive opinion of Othello and a very negative picture of Iago. With almost everyone the negative opinion about Iago lasts even after many reads even though Othello starts looking less naïve as we read through repeatedly.
Iago is the character who is the center of the plot even though the main character is Othello. Without Iago, Othello would not have been a tragedy or even a story worth saying.
Iago is revengeful to Othello about the fact that Othello preferred someone else for the official position which he had hoped to be entrusted with. To take revenge upon Othello, he aims at ruining Othello’s personal life, knowing his obsessive love for his wife. His plot leads to the tragedy where Othello misunderstand his wife to be disloyal and murders her and later on commits suicide when he comes to know the truth.
While analyzing Iago’s character, even though he is most certainly evil in all his actions, many have suggested the fact that it is basic human nature to feel revengeful. A small portion of his actions, if necessary, can be justified as the result of Othello’s attitude towards him. But then it can be most certainly said that his reason sounds too feeble to justify the tragic end of the innocent and good-natured Desdemona.
His insensitive and selfish nature is also evident from the way he uses his unsuspecting wife also to achieve his evil aim. He does not seem to care about his wife’s inexorable trust in him or her love for him. In fact he does not spare any characters in the story when it comes to his revenge which shows how cunning he is. His impenitent nature only adds to the negative impression.
While writing an Othello research paper on the character of Iago, it will not sound impressive to talk about his evil side. Anyone who reads the play can say so much about him. What you should do to make an interesting analysis is to dig deeply into his character to find something about him that is not widely acknowledged. There are certain debates which claim that Shakespeare never meant Iago to be interpreted as an evil character. Arguments suggest that his character was only meant to hide the negative aspects of Othello’s character by highlighting its own.
While writing an Othello research paper on any of the characters in the plot, it becomes your challenge to unveil the hidden characteristics of those characters. Since Shakespeare’s plays are complex enough to demand multiple interpretations, it solely depends on your literary skills as to how interesting your research paper turns out to be.