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Discussing Iago from Othello.

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Introduction

English Literature Essay Kayleigh Didcott Othello, Topic 5 Ms Wyllie Grade 12A 09/05/09 Many Shakespeare fanatics believe the character of Iago to be motiveless and inhuman. While the actions of Iago during the course of the play 'Othello' hardly seem justifiable, there is definitely some motive in his actions, however questionable they may be. In the introduction of the play, Iago makes it known that he craves revenge upon Othello. This is because Othello gave the position of lieutenant to Michael Cassio, a position which Iago believes himself to have earned. He says that he follows Othello "... To serve my turn upon him"(Act I, Scene I, line 42). He feels that he is "Worth no worse a place"(Act I, Scene I, line 11), and states that he has ulterior motives with the words, "I am not what I am" (Act I, Scene I, line 66). ...read more.

Middle

Roderigo is simply another piece to the puzzle that is Iago's plan. We also learn that Iago is very aware of people's weaknesses. He clearly knows that Roderigo is easily influenced. He knows that Othello is insecure when about women, and is easily jealous. "The Moor is of a free and open nature, That thinks men honest that but seem to be so, And will as tenderly be led by the nose as asses are." (Act I, Scene III, lines 381-383). Throughout the entire play, Iago uses the weaknesses of others to his advantage. He is aware of the fact that Cassio cannot hold is liquor and so encourages Cassio to drink. When Cassio makes a fool of Othello, Iago feigns innocence. Iago knows that he will be able to influence Othello to believe that Desdemona has been unfaithful. ...read more.

Conclusion

By the end of the play, Iago is held responsible for the wounding of Cassio, the death of Roderigo, the murder of Desdemona, the suicide of Othello, the possible death of his wife Emilia, and his ultimate torture. One has to wonder whether simply not being promoted was worth all this. In order for a person to be inhuman, they must lack good human qualities and have cruel or barbaric characters. In the case of Iago's motives, it is questionable about how valid these motives are. His character shows very immoral thinking, which may lead many into thinking that his reason for being cruel doesn't exist, making him an abstraction. It is easy to comprehend why there would be mixed feelings about this character, and possibly the only way anyone will ever be able to fully realize his rhyme and reason is to climb into his mind. 549 words ...read more.

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