I just read Shakespeare's Othello for the first time. Perhaps I never would have read it, but the Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis is performing it this summer at Forest Park and I wanted to be familiar with the storyline. Wow.
I may have just been introduced to Shakespeare's most villainous villain! Iago is a wicked man. When passed over for a promotion, he begins plotting the destruction of friend and foe alike...and if you know Shakespeare, you know how that's bound to turn out!
MacBeth's tragedy unfolds through a desperate grasp for power, Hamlet's through a driving desire for revenge, but the tragedy in Othello comes through the outworking of overwhelming jealousies: both Iago's, as well as false snares of jealousy which he lays out for others.
I was excited to learn that Bruce Longworth, who directed Hamlet a couple years ago, is filling that role again. Though the cast is missing the talents of Jim Butz, I expect Mr. Longworth will do great things once again.