Does Iago deserve our utmost sympathy?

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Considering the fact that Iago is portrayed as a thoroughly wicked, manipulative man who is responsible for several characters's deaths in the play, one could surmise that Shakespeare had no intention of creating sympathy for his character. Unlike some of Shakespeare's other notable villains—like Shylock—Iago has absolutely no redeeming qualities, does not evoke a sense of pity or sympathy from the audience, and is portrayed as a completely vindictive, heartless villain. Despite the fact that Othello chose the inexperienced Michael Cassio over Iago, Othello's decision to promote the Florentine soldier to lieutenant does not justify Iago's treacherous actions. Even Iago's...

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