The Many Evils of Iago in Othello by Shakespeare Essay examples
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The Many Evils of Iago in Othello by Shakespeare
Iago is a man of jealousy, and he is proposing revenge against Cassio and Othello. " He claims both Cassio and Othello have seduced his wife, Emilia, a warm-hearted, simple woman. He proposes, as revenge of wife for wife, to put Othello into such a jealousy as judgement can cure" (Jorgensen 59). "We know therefore from the start why Iago hates Othello . . . " (Modern 3). Iago's hatred for the Moor is deep, and there is apparently reason. The Ten Commandments teach us to love thy neighbor and to not steal. It seems that Othello has in a sense broken both those rules, or at least that is what Iago wants us to believe. By trying to seduce Emilia he is not loving thy neighbor, and he…show more content…
Iago believes that he can "exploit signs and forms from the outside while remaining..unscathed by the consequent mystification" (Eagleton 69). Iago's plans are carried out by causing sexual jealousy. The successes of his plans depend on "his pose of unswerving honesty - a pose which none of the other characters, not even his wife, is able to penetrate" (Scragg 52). The other people involved in Iago's plan have no idea what is about to happen to them. Iago uses their ignorance to destroy all of them. " All are oblivious of the false mind behind the ‘honest' mask and of the many specific machinations by which they are victimized" (Evans 116). Even though Iago is accused of all these evil deeds, that are not revealed until the end of the play, it can still be reduced to look like a minute act. "Iago can be reduced to a resourceful intriguer who exposes the hero's weakness to ridicule and devises an appropriate punishment," says Mehl in Shakespeare's Tragedies: An Introduction. In order to first fool Othello, Iago must victimize several other people. "Iago's success in fooling Othello is but the culmination of a series of such betrayals that includes the duping of Roderigo, Brabantio, and Cassio. Each duping is the explanatory image of the other, for in ever case Iago's method and end are the same: he plays on and teases to life some hitherto controlled and concealed dark passion in his victim. In each case he seeks in some way
Show MoreTo be evil, villainous or Satan-like, is to state that one does hurtful things to other citizens for the pure enjoyment of themselves. Hitler, Stalin and Napoleon are all leaders, who undoubtedly can be stated as evil. In William Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello, the character Iago is considered evil. It is argued though that he is not evil, just simply a human. Iago throughout the play becomes insecure over his decline in power leading him to become jealous and get revenge on those who contributed to this feeling of self-doubt. Though Iago at times is satisfied with the way he treats others, his motives are humanistic and the way he deals with his envy for others makes him one of the manliest men in William Shakespeare’s Othello.
The…show more content…
Thus, Iago, who is often described as an incarnation of the devil, is in reality, as said by Harvard Professor; Robert Coles, “rather the government official, the doctor, the lawyer, the businessman, the architect, the teacher- anyone who is for whatever reason unsatisfied enough with his or her life (no matter its privileges) to feel relentlessly spiteful-though secretly so.”(Coles Robert). Iago’s self-doubt naturally leads him to feel jealous of others ultimately causing him to want revenge on the people who have hurt him most.
In society, it is unrealistic to not be envious of others possessions and relationships as no average person is perfectly and significantly happy with the things they do have. By examining Iago’s jealousy over others it is noticeable to see how humans are emotionally forced to want to feel more powerful than others around them. While talking to Roderigo, Iago begins to wonder the possible reasons Cassio got the job as Lieutenant;
“But he, sit, had th’ election/And I, of whom his eyes had seen the proof/ At Rhodes, at Cyprus, and on other grounds/Chistian and heathen, must be belee’d and calmed/ By debitor and creditor. This Counter-caster/ He (in good time) must be/ And I, bless the mark, his Moorship’s ancient. (I.i.27-33)
It becomes clear that Iago’s character has many hidden feelings which ultimately lead to the