• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

During the early part of the play, Iago outlines his reasons for seeking revenge on Othello and Cassio. Do you find his motives convincing or do you feel that he is driven by "motiveless malignity" as one critic has claimed?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

During the early part of the play, Iago outlines his reasons for seeking revenge on Othello and Cassio. Do you find his motives convincing or do you feel that he is driven by "motiveless malignity" as one critic has claimed? Discuss these issues and consider other ways of regarding Iago. Iago's motives for seeking revenge on Othello and Cassio are, as he tells us, that he resents his having been overlooked for promotion to lieutenant, and he is jealous of the success of Michael Cassio who earned the promotion. Iago is confident of his own abilities: "I know my price, I am worth no worse a place." but he mocks ruthlessly the ability and integrity of others. ...read more.

Middle

Many attempts have been made to account for Iago's evil disposition, and he, himself adduces a number of motives for his destruction of Othello. The critic that claimed Iago is driven by motiveless malignity would only be correct if all the motives Iago claims to have are merely excuses for Throughout Iago's motives, seem to revolve around greed and envy. Viewing Iago's character as a moral type, Iago is evil and in contrast, Desdemona is good. Here Shakespeare is using dramatic characterisation. Iago's character is therefore a counterbalance to the moral values of Desdemona. Then introducing a theme of conflict between 'appearance' and 'reality' because Iago is plotting to 'blacken' Desdemona's goodness. ...read more.

Conclusion

He knows Othello will trust him and is likely to believe him. Again in Act 2, Scene 1 Iago reveals in a soliloquy "The Moor, howbeit that I endure him not, /Is of a constant, loving, noble nature," and from his motives we may assume that Iago's aim is to corrupt while Desdemona's 'goodness' will "make the net/That shall enmesh 'em all". In conclusion, Iago's success depends very much on the secrecy of his plans and his control of the plot. Iago's lies are plausible, and there is some truth in his evaluation of experience, but he fools everybody, and his lies are, nonetheless lies. He is defiantly evil but Shakespeare complicates the plot by giving him a series of motives. Iago's motives are partly convincing but ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Othello section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Othello essays

  1. Is Othello a 'noble hero' brought down by 'a devil of motiveless malignity' or ...

    The way both characters are portrayed relates to these views more specifically than that of the twentieth century and since the play is the only evidence available it seems realistic to go for these examinations. In William Shaspeare play Othello, Iago make Othello believe that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio.

  2. Coleridge famously describes the analysis of Iago as "the motive hunting of a motiveless ...

    is one of the most frightfully familiar yet most far-fetched characters in 'Othello'. Spencer assumes that Iago's motives are the overall congenial and entirely gratifying feelings that he acquires from viewing the demolition that he produced through his vindictive and menacing character.

  1. Iago himself offers many explanations for his behaviour during the play, none of them ...

    The treatment and disposal of Roderigo is an insight into the inhuman, conscienceless side of Iago's character, which allows him to treat other human being as disposable tools. This lends weight to the argument that Iago is indeed in the process of becoming a devil by the denial of the basics of humanity.

  2. It is claimed that Act 3 Scene 3 of Othello is the most important ...

    The ways that Iago manipulates Othello is very simple but also very effective, he used a mixture of mockery like "O, beware, my lord, of jealousy", which is said like a warning, but in truth is making him more jealous by telling him not to be, he makes their meeting

  1. "The motive hunting of a motiveless malignity" (Coleridge). Is this a fair assessment of ...

    He wants to upset them as much as he can. In Act One, Scene One he manages to accomplish this by waking Brabantio to tell him that his daughter, Desdemona has run off with Othello without his consent. Iago stirs up the situation and then leaves everybody to panic.

  2. "The motive-hunting of a motiveless malignity" was Coleridge's comment on the Iago soliloquies. Evaluate ...

    In this respect, Iago needs no motives for his actions - he is, as Coleridge asserted, a motiveless malignity. This view could be supported by the fact that Shakespeare used a Spanish name for his villain. At that time, Spain was England's chief enemy and rival for the Empire - true evil, according to Elizabethans, came from Spain.

  1. "Iago is no doubt a villain, but he is a very human villain and ...

    The reason being that Iago hates Othello so much is that he has chosen another man, Cassio, as his lieutenant, preferring him to Iago. This resentment, accompanied by Iago's cleverly fabricated accusations of adultery and his racism, cause Iago to despise Othello, and shortly thereafter, begin to conspire against him.

  2. Colderidge described one of Iago's soliloquies as "motive hunting of a motiveless malignity" to ...

    By Iago's first soliloquy we, as the audience, are very aware of his duplicitous nature. It therefore comes as no surprise that he rates doesn't dislikes Roderigo, after all we have yet to see him be truly a friend to anyone.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work