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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: November ::
Evil Characters (Iago/R3)
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1117.  Thursday, 6 November 1997.

[1]     From:   Steve Neville <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 5 Nov 1997 15:21:57 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1116  Iago/R3

[2]     From:   Sylvia Schmidt <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 05 Nov 1997 23:31:09 +0100
        Subj:   RIII and Iago

[3]     From:   William Williams <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 05 Nov 1997 20:21:05 -0600
        Subj:   Evil characters

[4]     From:   Louis C Swilley <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 5 Nov 1997 20:39:46 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1116  Iago/R3


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Neville <
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Date:           Wednesday, 5 Nov 1997 15:21:57 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.1116  Iago/R3
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1116  Iago/R3

Tanya Gough writes:

<< Thus I pose the following question to all you 3 am philosophers:
which is worse, to corrupt people who trust you, or to force people who
hate you to find you irresistible? >>

Both are equal fun, surely?

Regards
Steve Neville

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sylvia Schmidt <
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Date:           Wednesday, 05 Nov 1997 23:31:09 +0100
Subject:        RIII and Iago

I don't think the fact Iago lacks motivation for his deeds indicates a
greater criminal energy than that of villains more easily understood
from a modern point of view - it should be kept in mind that
psychological motivation of the kind Shakespeare usually gives his
villains is not a necessary feature of drama in his time. Rather, I see
Iago's lack of "sufficient" motivation - a lack probably not felt as
such by contemporary audiences - as being in itself part of his
effectiveness as a villain. Since no one suspects him of evil intent, he
is able to build his plots on the trust and gullibility of his victims.
A Iago surrounded by less gullible people - let alone ones hatching
malicious plans of their own - would not have been able to achieve his
ends by the means he employs.  Richard III. and Iago act under
incomparable circumstances and on different levels (the difference of
personal and social villainy has been mentioned), so a comparison
between the two may not be valid, but I do find it interesting. My
purely subjective opinion is that Iago would be pitifully transparent to
Richard, who not only operates on a larger scale, but is infinitely more
skilled in manipulation (I cannot picture Iago successfully convincing
someone who hates him and regards him as the incarnation of evil that
they are completely wrong and should, in fact, marry him).

Sylvia Schmidt

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Williams <
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Date:           Wednesday, 05 Nov 1997 20:21:05 -0600
Subject:        Evil characters

I'm sorry if I missed it, but if we are looking for "really" evil
characters in Shakespeare it is hard to beat Aaron in _Titus_  "If one
good thing" he did, he does repent it.

William Proctor Williams
Northern Illinois University

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[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Louis C Swilley <
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Date:           Wednesday, 5 Nov 1997 20:39:46 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 8.1116  Iago/R3
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1116  Iago/R3

Tanya Gough asks:

> which is worse, to corrupt people
> who trust you, or to force people who hate you to find you irresistible?

May I suggest a study of Dante's Inferno?
 

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