A comparative study of othello: claudius, angelo and iago essays
Three characters in three Shakespearian plays, Iago, Angelo and King Claudius are seen as the villains of the plays'Othello''Measure for Measure' and'Hamlet' respectively. The nature and personality of these characters are very similar in several ways. They committed very evil acts in the plays and are seen as the reason for the downfall of other characters. However, even though they committed such wicked acts, these characters still managed to acquire some sympathy from their audience and should therefore be pitied. I will begin by comparing these characters in action, personality and their state of mind as they committed these evil acts. Following this, I will compare these characters to show why we should sympathize with them.
Unlike other Shakespearian characters such as Macbeth who feels guilt after committing his crimes, Claudius, the king in Hamlet, enjoys his sinful life. He committed crime after crime for lust and power. He killed his brother who was Hamlet's father and married his mother.The satisfaction that Claudius receives from his actions is aptly described in one of Hamlet's lines after the appearance of the ghost: “That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain" (1.5.108)
It is important to note that Claudius is able to remain benevolent and reasonable after murdering his brother for the crown and his wife. He is proudly able to stand up against Laertes when he came to avenge his father's death by saying: “There’s such divinity doth hedge a king, that treason can peep to what it would” (4.5.124-125). This line shows that Claudius feels no sympathy for what he has done even though we see him in the earlier scene praying for forgiveness. While some other Shakespearian characters like Macbeth tries to justify some of his evil deeds, he is not able to maintain the same level of pride and contentment that Claudius does in Hamlet.