The Villains Of Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, And Hamlet

1138 words - 5 pages

A story wouldn’t be an interesting one without a villain. Every television show, Disney movie, and play always has to have that one person that opposes the main character. According to Merriam-Webster, a villain is a deliberate scoundrel or criminal, which is a very fitting definition when talking about these characters in Shakespeare’s plays. (“Villain” Merriam-Webster) There are always certain characteristics that every bad guy possesses. In a number of Shakespeare plays the villain is a stereotyped character who does not fight against any feelings of remorse and, still more importantly, even enjoys his evil nature. (Osterried) The villains from Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Hamlet are similar because all have a conflict with a woman and have a goal in mind and will do anything to reach it, but different in the way their actions affect the outcome of the plot.
To begin, the villains from these plays are always fighting with a woman or have a conflict with another about a woman. The scoundrel of Othello, for instance, is Iago. He is vengeful for getting passed by for a promotion by Othello. To get back at him, he causes trouble by making it seem like Othello’s wife, Desdemona, is being unfaithful. Shakespeare scholar, Harold Bloom, argues that Iago is an artist of evil. The same way that some people enjoy writing songs or filming movies, Iago enjoys ruining people's lives. He does it with a sense of craftsmanship, appreciating the elegance or cleverness of a particular step in his scheme as much as its final result: incredible suffering for the people he has chosen. (Shmoop Editorial Team) In the play Hamlet, the troublemaker, Claudius, has a fight with Hamlet throughout the entire drama about his marriage to Hamlet’s mother within a month of his father’s death. Hamlet has major issues that his uncle would do such a thing as betray their family relationships. Hamlet expresses his anger by saying, “She married, O. most wicked speed, to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets! It is not nor it cannot come to good; But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.” (Scene 1, Act 2, lines 10-13) The last instance takes place in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Demetrius. Demetrius loves this girl named Hermia, but Hermia rejects him and loves Lysander instead. This causes Demetrius to go after and try and stop Hermia and Lysander from running away together after he hears their plan from Hermia’s friend, Helena, who actually loves Demetrius but he doesn’t return the feeling.
In addition, the villains from these three plays all have a particular goal in mind and won’t stop at anything to reach it. For example, Iago from Othello constantly tells Othello lies to convince him his wife is cheating on him. He even places a handkerchief that Desdemona gave Othello in Cassio’s room to make matters worse. Throughout the play, Iago provides multiple and incompatible motives for hating Othello. At one point, Iago says he's angry because Othello...

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