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Villains In Shakespeare

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Villains exploit weakness. They recognize the flaws in other human beings, and make these defects into tools to be used to attain their ultimate goal. Willingness to trust, jealousy and anger are mere playthings for the villain. A villain looks for that fatal chink in the armor and then aims directly for that most vulnerable spot. Iago is a prime example, "his villainous capacity for self-deception, though, keeps himself from seeing his own flaws." (Geitzen,2.) Villains cauase people to doubt one another or themselves. A man's trust in his wife or son is a powerful bond but one that can shatter with some carefully placed words. Iago has no trouble convincing Othello of Desdemona's infidelity. By severing the links between people, the villains isolate and weaken their victims. To the machiavellain mind, the villain can reduce others to the way he sees the world; that we are each a faction onto ourselves (Gietzen,3). Claudius has an amazing ability to make his evil acts appear to be acceptable. When he marries Gertrude, Hamlet is the only one who reacts normally to this abnormal, incestuous situation (Coe,99.) Villains mislead their prey, by misrepresenting facts, or by distracting their prey from fully realizing, and acting on, the facts they know. People make choices based on the information available to them. Control of this information grants control of the resulting choices. Villains understand this and know how to alter people's perception in a way that aids the villain (Geitzen,4).



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