For me, Othello is Shakespeare’s most horrifying play. (A category with an awful lot of competition, I might add.) There are many reasons for this, most of which I won’t go into because they would just bring out the English major in me more than is probably necessary, but the main reason, the important reason, is Iago.
I thought about it for quite a while before finally deciding to write this one. Posting about Shakespeare seems almost as bad as posting about Harry Potter, but, God, I couldn’t spend the month thinking and writing about favorite villains without thinking and writing (at least a little bit) about Iago. He’s too good—too bad—to resist.
In my book, Iago is king of the villains. He’s vicious and remorseless and terrifyingly brilliant. He’s the ultimate master manipulator, systematically destroying Othello (not to mention a few odd others as well) while effortlessly maintaining his own image as loyal, dedicated, and, above all, honest. And (spoiler alert!) he manages it all without even dying at the end.