His very existence is for the destruction of the truly innocent. In religious terms the devil is the ruler of the underworld and can see into everyone’s thoughts and manipulate them into temptation. A Shakespearean audience would be fully aware of this due to the fact that they were considerably religious during the period the play was written and performed in. We see that Iago has devilish qualities about his character in the way he manipulates other into essentially doing his dirty work for him. The clever technique Shakespeare uses allows al the characters to perceive Iago as ‘honest’ and quite pure and heavenly like.
Paradise Lost: Allegories of Satan to Milton Paradise Lost, thought to be the most preeminent epic in English literature, is shrouded in arguments trying to divulge the poem’s true hero. Satan is controversially conveyed as the Byronic epic protagonist, whereas God is portrayed as an almighty tyrant. The depiction of these obvious moral ambiguities brings about apparent disapproval and criticism from other authors. However, the general thesis of the ten-book epic, as defined by Milton in Book I, is to “justify the ways of God to men” and to make clear the conflict between God's eternal foresight and free will (1 Milton). The probable cause for the sympathetic interpretation of Satan is thought to have formulated from real experiences.
Pray can I not, Though inclination be as sharp as will. My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent,” (III.iii.36-40). Claudius opens his soliloquy in a way that almost makes the reader feel sorry for him. A confession of his own immoral behavior to God that stems from a deep conviction. This is proof that Claudius is in a battle within himself.
Iago also say’s “My lord, you know I love you” which juxtaposes his previous quote “I hate the moor”. He claims a reputation for honesty, yet he invents elaborate lies in order to exploit and manipulate other people. “I am not what I am” is one of the most famous and ingenious quotes said by Iago. Here the theme of appearance vs. reality is shown. This quote is reminiscent of a quote in the bible “I am what I am” which is said by God.
Note that the wound on Weathertop is inflicted by the Witch-king, another Satan figure. Frodo's voyage to the west, like Gandalf's, is also symbolic of the Ascension. It doesn't take a biblical scholar to feel some similarity between Frodo's struggle to carry the Ring up Mount Doom and Christ's struggle to carry his cross to Calvary. By the time Frodo reaches Mount Doom, he is so weighed down by the power
Therefore, it would be understandable to suggest that the original pagan scop, who sang of this epic poem, was influenced by Christian beliefs but then a Christian monk finally put it on paper. Within the translation of Beowulf by Burton Raffel, it contains the scop’s pagan and Christian influence as well as the monk’s Christian influence. The pagan elements in the epic poem Beowulf are evident in the character’s superhuman personifications, need for material possession, and superstition. Beowulf takes it upon himself
Grendel seeks vengeance on good rather than evil mainly because of his family history. In Beowulf, Grendel was portrayed as “insensible to pain and human sorrows, “or incompetent of any mental feeling. Grendel is unconscious and unaffected by the pain and suffering he causes others. The next topic of interest would be if Grendel is the anti Christ that would imply an anti trinity. Odd enough in Beowulf he fights three demons or monsters.
Seamus Heaney’s translation of the epic poem “Beowulf” successfully explores the reconciliation of Christian, mythological and Pagan influences. It analyses the text’s depiction of the archetypal hero and it’s symbol allusions through the indeterminable battle between Good and Evil, the concept of Fate, and the ‘superhuman’ within a mortal realm. Beowulf utilises poetic themes of religion in the way it manages to blend pagan and Christian morals and values and displace paradoxical notions. Heaney manages to combine his Christian perception of the loving but demanding virtues of an all-powerful and Judgmental God with the insane futility of the Germanic’s thirst for vengeance. Myth helped define the ancestral Germanic people’s existence, in
Othello, himself states “that thou be’st a devil, I cannot kill thee.” He then stabs Iago but only wounds him, showing that he thinks that Iago is the devil. In Elizabethan society he could be labeled a demon, or influenced by the devil if not the devil himself. Even if he is only a sociopath, there are many similarities between sociopaths and devilish doings. Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge ( 1772-1834)saw Iago’s worst side and writes “a being next to the devil, only not quite the devil” He calls Iago’s behavior “motiveless malignity”. A trait that stands out is Iago’s ability to think out and plot what seemingly will be a perfect plan.
Because the poem places a large emphasis on Satan and the fall of man, it could give a sense of rebellion to an uneducated reader, which it certainly did with the monster. However, if Paradise Lost was replaced with the Bible, this influence would be reversed with many positive influences, including “Thou shalt not kill,” and “Love thy neighbor as yourself.” Plutarch’s Lives is a collections of historic retellings of the lives of famous Greek and Roman figures. While there are many positive stories, there are also many negative influences. Many tales of betrayal create negative precedents that the monster followed. However, if a different selection of Lives were chosen, then the monster could have learned of valor and honor.