Term Paper: Iago in Shakespeare's Othello

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Othello

Iago in Othello

William Shakespeare's Othello is essentially a play about human passions, which, when unleashed, can be blind and destructive. Iago can be considered the most important character in the text, as it is him who manages to manipulate all the characters in the play by making use of their own weaknesses, so as to make them serve his own purpose of revenge. Iago's motivations are multiple. He repeatedly states his hate for "the Moor," and sets to destroy him and the other characters in the play. To achieve this, Iago makes use of the passions that he intuitively perceives as very prominent in the other characters: he uses Othello's love for Desdemona and manages to drive him to believe she is unfaithful, he uses Desdemona's generosity to determine her to speak to Othello in behalf of Cassio and so on. Thus, love and hate are the main human passions, but, from both of these, a third passion is often born: jealousy. Iago triggers Othello's jealousy, and as he does so, he is motivated by his own jealousy. In Othello, Shakespeare shows how jealousy drives men to acts normally unconscionable. Jealousy motivates Iago to lie, cheat and steal his way to the chief lieutenant's position. It is not mere hatred as such that motivates Iago therefore, but his jealousy and the infernal pleasure he derives from manipulating the others.

As such, Iago is a double faced character who dissimulates his own jealousy and passions to manipulate the other's feelings. Shakespeare's play is interesting because of the way in which the jealous Iago manages to manipulate the jealousies of the others. First of all, Iago's enjoyment at manipulating the others… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Iago in Shakespeare's Othello.  (2008, April 26).  Retrieved May 23, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/othello-iago-william-shakespeare/5793512

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"Iago in Shakespeare's Othello."  26 April 2008.  Web.  23 May 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/othello-iago-william-shakespeare/5793512>.

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"Iago in Shakespeare's Othello."  Essaytown.com.  April 26, 2008.  Accessed May 23, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/othello-iago-william-shakespeare/5793512.