Iago is one of the most interesting characters in the tragedy "Othello" by William Shakespeare. Through some carefully thought-out words and actions, Iago is able to manipulate others to do things in a way that benefits him and gets him closer to his goals. In other words, he behaves in the way that the classic portrayal of a vice should behave. His intimate relationships with the audience, self-fulfilling goals, comedic personality and manipulative ways are what separate him from the rest of the characters in Othello. Iago is the driving force in this play, pushing Othello and everyone else towards the tragic ending. He is most certainly a vice-like character.
Iago is not the typical villain in any story or play. The role he plays is unique and complex, far from what one might expect from a villain. Iago is not only very smart, but he is also an expert judge of character. This gives him a great advantage in the play. For example, he knows Roderigo is in love with Desdemona and figures that he would do anything to have her as his own. Iago says about Roderigo, "Thus do I ever make my fool my purse." [Act I, Scene III, Line 355]. By playing on his ambitions, Iago is able to swindle money and jewels from Roderigo, making a substantial profit for himself, while using Roderigo to advance his other goals. This is just an example in his one of very many manipulative ways.
Iago can also think very quickly on his feet and is able to improvise whenever something unexpected occurs. When Cassio takes hold of Desdemona's hand before the arrival of Othello, Iago says, "With as little a web as this will I ensnare as great a fly as Cassio." [Act II, Scene I, Line 163]. His quick thinking and craftiness makes him a truly dastardly villain.
Being very smart, Iago quickly recognizes the advantages of trust and uses it as a tool to forward his purposes. Throughout the story he is known as "Honest Iago." He even says of himself, "I am an honest man...."...