Evil In Macbeth And Othello

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Shakespeare’s ability to illustrate the battle between good and evil is arguably one of his best skills as a writer. Incorporating the art of the morality play, he shows the battle of these two forces for a man’s soul. But the beauty of his writing comes to light in how he shows this process. In both Macbeth and Othello, Shakespeare portrays evil as corrupting, while the source of evil differs. The religious preferences and philosophy of the English Renaissance affected Shakespeare’s writing. The battle for a man’s soul comes from the Christian idea of God in heaven conflicting with Satan in the world. Shakespeare views evil as more than only bad deeds; it breaks the holy order that God instituted to hold the universe together (Miller). Expanding…show more content…
The character more represents vices rather than a person, and truly exemplifies Shakespeare’s view of a corrupting evil (Miller). Best seen in the character Iago, their soul goal in mind is the downfall of the protagonist, and no action is too foul. While Iago is dehumanized, he still has motives and reasons to his corruption. At the pinnacle of his motives stands hatred. Iago hates the moor for not giving the lieutenancy that he so well deserves. Atop resentment, Iago feels jealousy for Othello’s suspicious relationship with Emilia, Iago’s wife (McCloskey). The culmination of these feelings results in a plan to destroy Othello and everything that he stands for. Iago attacks Othello’s love for Desdemona by turning “her virtue into pitch, and out of her own goodness make the net that shall enmesh them all.” (2.3.336). His lies cause himself to look like the only honest person Othello knows. He clouds Othello’s judgement with a mixture of emotions so that Othello figures he must kill the woman he loves so dearly (Beier). Nevertheless, Iago feels no remorse for his deceptions while the remaining characters are outraged and livid. His reaction shows that while his actions are wrong, he feels justified because he was wronged by Othello
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