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A Comparison of Shakespeare’s Villains Aaron and Iago

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  1. Introduction
  2. The difference between Aaron and Iago
    1. The motivation for their villainy
    2. The believability and complexity of their characters
  3. The idea of a character speaking directly to the audience
  4. Similarities between Iago and Aaron
    1. Their confidence in and love for themselves
    2. The deceptive nature and selfishness
    3. Tthe methods they use to achieve their goals
  5. Conclusion
  6. Works cited

Shakespeare is known for creating memorable characters, and his villains are often especially intriguing. Aaron and Iago are both villains in revenge tragedies by Shakespeare. In Titus Andronicus, which is believed to be Shakespeare's first tragedy, even though most of the characters are far from admirable, Aaron is the main evildoer. Iago is the main antagonist in Othello, a later tragedy. Although there are a few differences between them, Aaron and Iago are quite similar.

[...] Titus, unfortunately, trusts Aaron's word and lets him cut off his hand ( 3.1 .151-191). Iago, too, is trusted by everyone around him, so much, in fact, that he is constantly described as ( etc.). Othello even believes Iago over Desdemona, his own wife, when he tells him that she has been unfaithful. By gaining the trust of others, Aaron and Iago are able to manipulate them at their will. They tell others what to do or think and are obeyed. [...]

[...] Another important aspect in which Aaron and Iago differ is in the believability and complexity of their characters. Aaron is pure evil and delights in it. He was villainous prior to the events of the play, as he soliloquizes in Act Five ( 2.124 his motivation, if he has any, is never disclosed. Because of this, he comes across as rather one- dimensional. Iago, however, is a bit more complex. The audience or reader is able to discern his thought processes through his dialogue and his soliloquies, especially, and can see the different ways he acts around different people. [...]

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