The Tragedy of ‘Othello’ is governed by Iago, the deceitful ensign. He corrupts the Venetian army ranks creating suspicion and causing strife at will. Hiding behind the guise of ‘honest Iago’; he misleads the newly-appointed lieutenant, Michael Cassio, into a drunken brawl; and blows corrupting seeds of thought into the ear of the greatly revered ‘Othello’, who henceforth grows to distrust all those he once loved. The storm that the Venetian army encounters at the opening of the play is never calmed: the obvious threat of the invading Turkish fleet is avoided, only to be replaced by the tasteless and sightless, yet deadly threat of hollow words. An audience might think themselves safe from Iago’s corruptions, but safety is no sure thing in this play. Iago also hides behind the green-eyed monster, Jealousy. It would be so satisfying to define the reasons for Iago’s actions as ‘jealousy’ and/or ‘racism’, but no one is so simply understood and defined. Is Iago a collection of the many faces that he presents to the characters of the play? Or are they masks that fill an ominous void?
1st – 3rd November