The Similar Villain and their Parallel Roles in Othello and King Lear
The use of functionally similar characters is frequent to Shakespeare’s tragedies as they are used to develop similar structure to the plot. In the case of the villains from Othello’s, Iago, and Edmund from King Lear, these characters functionally create the same discourse through their actions. Both characters begin from a social stature of a subordinate and gain motive to rebel against their master. Iago resents not being promoted to his deserving position and Edmund rejects society’s standing on the bastard and second-born child. The role of the villain is functionally the same for both plays as they use their artful nature in deception to manipulate their respective master and manipulate them through their flaws. The villains of these plays also achieve similar success in their plot as they both achieve a sense of heightened social standing and switch places with their master, who becomes base in nature.…show more content… The theme of morality becomes a large issue in both plays and particularly in King Lear as the male antagonist questions the morality of what society deems as “bastardy” when it comes to the second-born and wed locked child. This sense of morality that Edmund questions can be interpreted to being a similar theme that Iago in Othello pursues, the theme of jealousy. A jealousy he feels against his brother who is deemed the “legitimate” (King Lear I.II.20) brother.
The irony of Edmund’s character is seen through the meaning of his name as Edmund is described to be in a literal interpretation of “protector of wealth” (BehindTheName:Edmund) which can be interpreted to him not owning the wealth but being the subordinate of the wealthy. Edmund’s role is defined through his name as he is immediately given the identity of a subordinate and not a man of