7.26.2007

Booking Through Thursday: Moustache Twirling

Who’s the worst fictional villain you can think of? As in, the one you hate the most, find the most evil, are happiest to see defeated? Not the cardboard, two-dimensional variety, but the most deliciously-written, most entertaining, best villain? Not necessarily the most “evil,” so much as the best-conceived on the part of the author…oh, you know what I mean!

I'm going to go to the stage here and say Iago, from Shakespeare's Othello. Here's a guy with no conscience whatsoever, just randomly going around destroying lives. Othello's on his list for not promoting him and Cassio has to be eliminated because he DID get the job. Desdemona may be collateral damage, but then again, she may have rejected him at one time. Iago just assumes that his wife Emilia is cheating on him because he thinks all women are whores.

A professor of mine called Iago a sociopath, and I think she's right. Every time I read the play I get powerfully angry at him, but at the same time, he's the most interesting person in the story.

side note: When I read this in college, the professor drew some interesting parallels between Othello and O.J. Simpson. It definitely made the play come alive for me.

7 comments:

Chris said...

A classic choice ;)

Stephanie said...

Oh...I have Iago too. (as an afterthought). Hard to narrow it down to just one!

Irishcoda said...

Definitely, I agree--I didn't think of Shakespeare when I read the question but Iago is an excellent choice!

Barbara H. said...

It's been years since I saw Othello as a play -- I don't think I ever studied it in a class -- but I do somewhat remember him. From your description he does sound sociopathic. I wonder what makes villains so interesting? Their self-deception, maybe, or wondering how far they'll go since they don't have the same moral restraints.

Merri said...

Yikes Iago is a good one!
(INTERESTING about the comparison to OJ!)

Literary Feline said...

I'll have to see if I can find the play to watch because now you have me curious! I'm afraid I'm not much of a Shakespeare fan and so I probably won't read the play.

Gracie said...

How interesting is that: the link between Iago and O.J. Simpson?! (and thanks again for the posting on my blog about my choice of Heathclif as the ultimate villain - for, as it were, validating my choice)

 

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