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'A mysterious inhuman creature with unlimited cynicism'. Explore the character of Iago in the light of this comment, focusing on his soliloquies and his treatment of the other characters.

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Introduction

'A mysterious inhuman creature with unlimited cynicism'. Explore the character of Iago in the light of this comment, focusing on his soliloquies and his treatment of the other characters. Compare how your interpretation differs from those of other Critics. 'Regimes whose rule is terror...led by men to whom power has meant a licence to corrupt, maim and murder. Some men delight in things for no reason but because they are ugly and infamous' Samuel Butler (1680) Derived from a collection of Italian short stories by Giraldo Cinthio and first performed in London in the summer of 1601 in front of James I, Othello remains to this day one of Shakespeare's most controversial yet finest and popular tragedies. Featuring Othello himself, notably the first black hero to appear on English stage. Othello demonstrates emotional power and revolves around trust and distrust. Johnson interprets Othello as a play that is not easy to analyse because it teaches the reader or viewer the inner truth of human nature. Reading exercises your own powers of judgement. Shakespeare manages to introduce truly evil themes: racism depicted not only to be skin deep, hierarchy and snobbery. The power of suggestion and power itself. It is common knowledge that "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". The idea of Othello having no power and the corrupter Iago rivets rather then repels power. ...read more.

Middle

Greer remarks that the Elizabethian audience would have recognised Iago with his "strange lop-sided black humour, his chaotic and mildly hysterical motivation, and his parasitic relationship to Othello". Therefore technically contemporary generations of analysists may perhaps be interpretating Iago as something more then he was supposed to be. Perhaps Shakespeare meant Iago to have unlimited cynicism, "Tis in ourselves that we are thus and thus" Another theory highlighted by Susan Snyder taken from Beyond comedy is that like Bradley, expanding on suggestions from Hazlitt and Swinbone who compared Iago in his first two soliloquies to a playwright In the early stages of writing a new play -"Drawing at first only an outline, puzzled how to fix more than the main idea, and gradually seeing it develop and clarify as he works upon it or let it work".0000She states how the implication that a single human being can control persons and change realities within the safe parameters of the reality of life is sinister. That Iago is clearly the most intelligent character in the play and the reason- or the appearance of the reason is his chief means of controlling others. This power in the rational view is self conscious falseness that is highly theatrical, calculated to shock the audience. Cynicism was an ancient Greek philosophy, primarily concerned with virtue, whose followers were known as "The Dog Philosophers", who believed that virtue was the only necessity for happiness and that it was sufficient for attaining happiness. ...read more.

Conclusion

He points out Shakespeare's emphasise on the improvised nature of Iagos plots: 'Cassios a proper man let me see now, to get this place, and to make up my will, A double knavery...how, how?...let me see'. The question is, is Iago fully aware of himself as impromptu, if he is does that in itself reveal an ability that possesses a higher impurity that he or us as readers are aware of. 'I am what I am". Iago may appear a mysterious and cynical character to the other characters but to the audience Iago makes it apparent in his soliloquies. He commonly uses the audience as a confidant delighting in his villainy, tipping the audience off rather like the Machevellien villain. His acts are premeditated and have reasons. In his various soliloquies he reveals grudges that while mostly false or overblown present themselves as clear to Iago. The Human behaviour peculiar it seems some thrive on hate some love the dream. As humans we are too quick to examine things in a negative light and thrive on hate and deception. Very seldom do you find people who openly display a loving character, for fear of being exposed of their faults and insecurities. Poor self-esteem is a prevalent self image that many occupy because of the worlds overwhelming negativity. Its sad how war and tradgedy bring mankind together. The intresting thing about Shakespeare is like his contemporys he was fascinated by human Variability. It seems to me Iago only sees weaknesses and irrationality in those who are motivated by anything not egocentric. ...read more.

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