Analyzing the Idea of the ‘Villain’ in Othello – English Language and Literature Studies (Scholarly Journal)



DOI: 10.5539/ells.v6n4p75

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“The concept of evil has been researched since the Medieval era, leading to the conclusion that human beings
have the freedom to choose good from bad, or evil from good. The origin of evil based on the religious teachings
is Satan, who is described as the Rebel Angel, as explained by Dante in The Divine Comedy (Alighieri, 1957).
Satan tempts human beings into sinning, as revenge against God for placing him in Hell. Based on the
psychological point of view developed by Sigmund Freud, the source of evil is id which is distinctive (Freud,
1966). Villain motivations are driven by the tendency of the ego to make realistic decisions about meeting the
unrealistic and unreasonable desires by the id. The other aspect that motivates villain actions include jealousy,
anger and revenge, as indicated in the play. Shakespeare presents the villain character perfectly in his play
Othello (1604) through Iago, whose main focus in life is to destroy others “So will I turn her virtue into pitch And
out of her own goodness make the net That shall enmesh them all” (Shakespeare, 1993, p. 99). Through his
manipulative skills, he makes the other characters trust him “Iago most honest” (Shakespeare, 1993, p. 75) and
then fuel conflicts among them. Iago is motivated by anger, revenge and jealousy to commit the evil acts.”


Article on the concept of the ‘villain’ in Othello through the antagonist, Iago, who is “motivated by anger, revenge and jealousy to commit the evil acts.”


  • Marwan Alqaryouti and Ala Eddin Sadeq.


  • The Concept of Villain in Shakespeare’s Othello


  • Journal: English Language and Literature Studies, Vol. 6, No. 4


  • 2016


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