Shakespeare’s works always possessed a tinge of subtlety which was a double-edged sword. It beautified his writing prowess yet it also led to conflicting interpretations of his work. Several critics argue that Othello contains slurs of racist jargon which were prevalent in that society. Although it shows the helplessness of black men, it consistently shows the West as the beacon of rationality and the East as its irrational counterpart. Turks were not considered to be of equal mental ability and devoid of humane mannerisms in the eyes of the European characters, and arguably, in Shakespeare’s. His critics include . Bradley and Anthony Gilbert.
In Act 2, Desdemona is awaiting the return of Othello from the courts. Iago expresses disgust for Desdemona and also for his wife Emilia and slanders them by implying that they are hussies. "Players in your housewifery, and housewives in your beds" (pg. 255, lines 112-113). "You rise to play, and go to bed to work" (pg. 255, line 115). As Cassio enters, Iago removes himself from the conversation and steps aside to study the interaction between Cassio and Desdemona. When he sees Cassio take Desdemona's hand he sees a way to plot against Cassio to strip him of his command and cause his demise. "With as little a web as this I ensnare as great a fly as Cassio" (pg. 256, lines 168-169). "If such tricks as these strip you out of your lieutenantry, it had been better you had not kissed your three fingers so oft" (pg. 256, lines 171-173).
While Othello might have some virtuous attributes, there is no doubt that his emotional dishonesty, jealousy and conceit all sum up to make him the ultimate villain of this Shakespearian classic play. In the end it is the unwitting prophecy Iago makes that comes true, "O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on; that cuckold lives in bliss Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger; But, O, what damned minutes tells he o'er Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves!"(1550). Yes, Iago should be the villain, but we hugely expect this of him, and he therefore lives up to just what we would expect.. The true bad guy, who gives this play its twist is Othello the disingenuous, suspicious and the proud Moor of Venice.