Ok, here’s an interesting question. I’ve mentioned that I hang out on Yahoo! Answers recently, answering many homework-like questions as they interest me. I ignore the blatant copy-and-paste ones and go after the more interesting ones like “Who is the more sympathetic character, Hermia or Helena?” or “Why does the messenger initially lie to Macduff about what’s happened to his family?”
So a question came up about Iago being the villain in Othello. That’s all fine and good, but check out the ranting answer somebody posted, which I thought would make for good discussion. I’m not plagiarizing here, I’m providing a link to the original – we just can’t have a discussion about his answer on that forum. Maybe he’ll see us and come visit 🙂
Shakespeare wrote some plays that rise to the level of great literature, such as “Hamlet” and “King Lear.” But “Othello” is not one of his “great literature” plays. It is melodrama, pure and simple.
That opening soliloquy of Iago makes that clear. It is also shown by how easily the supposed great general, Othello, is duped by Iago.
Why then do so many teachers and professors try to teach “Othello” as great literature? They are just following in what their teachers and professors did. They aren’t thinking for themselves. Like Othello, they have been duped.
There’s more to his answer, but I’ve snipped the Shakespeare-relevant bit. Thoughts?