Essay, Research Paper: Othello And Much Ado About Nothing

Shakespeare: Othello

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The two villains in “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Othello” share much in
common, despite their numerous differences. It is evident that Shakespeare
framed the second piece of literature to be similar to the first. Although
shorter, the plot of “Othello” is definitely more complex. The villains play
a major part in the novels, and are very much alike in their line of thinking.
The comedy, “Much Ado About Nothing” depicts the story of a group of
high-ranking soldiers who travel through a town called Messina. They had been to
the town before, and this time Claudio confesses his love for the governor’s
daughter, Hero. Because Leonato is so fond of Claudio, the wedding is set to be
a few days away. This gives Don John, Claudio’s bastard brother, a chance to
show his true hatred for Claudio. He comes up with a scheme to make Claudio
think that Hero is cheating by dressing Margaret in her clothing and perching
her near the window with another man. When Claudio sees this, he says that he
will humiliate Hero instead of marrying her. The next day Claudio does exactly
as he had said, degrading Hero in front of all her family and friends. Because
she did not cheat on him, she did not expect that kind of reaction. She is so
dejected that she faints, and everyone assumes she is dead. Eventually Borrachio
is overheard talking about Don John’s plan, and Don John is arrested. Later
Claudio learns that Hero is not actually dead, and they are finally married. “Othello”’s
Iago is very much similar to Don John. He wants to get revenge on Othello for
not being chosen as lieutenant and also suspects that Othello has slept with
Emilia. Somehow Iago manages to manipulate Othello into thinking that Desdemona
cheated on him. When he demands that she show him the handkerchief he had given
her, and she does not, he is convinced that she is being unfaithful. This is
when he decides that he must kill her. Later in the novel Othello suffocates
Desdemona out of jealousy. The villains of both novels contain an unusually
large number of similarities. Both Don John and Iago are determined to break up
the key relationships of the two novels. Iago tricks Othello for revenge, Don
John out of sheer hatred for Claudio. The bastard brother goes through a period
where he acts very pleasant toward Claudio, and Iago seems to be the ally of
Othello throughout the entire piece. Both Don John and Othello used unsuspecting
women to break up the main characters. Don John used Margaret and Iago used
Emilia. Finally, both villains are strong egotists. Don John shows it in the way
that he does not interact with the other characters. Iago believes that Othello
is much too trusting, and respects no one but himself. Although Shakespeare
meant to create these two evil characters alike, there are a few differences
between them. Don John set up Claudio using other people to convince him. I go
used his manipulative speaking and wits, along with Othello’s gullible nature
to convince him. Don John and Iago caused the two main characters to take
different methods of revenge on their women. Othello killed Desdemona in a
jealous rage, whereas Claudio merely humiliated Hero. Iago seeks revenge on
Othello for two reasons: he suspects Othello slept with Emilia, and he also
despises Othello for choosing Cassio as lieutenant instead of him. One final and
resounding difference between Don John and Iago has to do with the past of each
character. Shakespeare portrays Iago as an intelligent and sometimes caring
character until Othello supposedly wrongs him. On the other hand, Don John has
more of an evil aura about him, and shows his hatred for Claudio right from the
start. Overall, the characters of Don John and Iago are very similar, although
the latter is much more intelligent and complex. These two men are what draw the
reader’s attention to the novel, and share so much in common that the two
seemingly unrelated works are read in tandem constantly.
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