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Iago's Fraudulent Honesty: A Man Who Loves Hate And Hates Love

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Introduction

Iago's Fraudulent Honesty: A Man Who Loves Hate And Hates Love Iago's personality is a constant alteration between his outward appearance, his "nice side" and his inner self, his "dark side." In Shakespeare's Othello, as in any other story, the main character affects the story and what events unfold as a result of their actions. Who is the main character? Perhaps surprisingly, it is not necessarily Othello, the title character, but rather Iago, the true manipulator of evil. Part of Iago's genius is how he appears to the citizens (and elite) of Venice and most importantly, to Othello himself. His outward appearance is calm, persuasive, making him a very likable character. Iago's first such appearance is with Roderigo. To the na�ve young man Iago is intelligent, smart and reliable. Iago takes full advantage of Roderigo's lust for Desdemona, promising him sure elopement with Othello's wife if Roderigo assists him. Also, early in the play, Iago manipulates Barbantio into assisting him. There are other examples of how the others trust him. Cassio trusts Iago to take over for him when Cassio goes to join the party in Othello's honor. Even to minor characters like Lodovico, Iago's opinions are respected; like when he advises Lodovico to watch Othello and see for himself what has happened. ...read more.

Middle

He is jealous because everything has been going so well for him and that he has such a positive attitude. Being truly evil, Iago despises what is good and wishes to pass his evil onto others. He makes this most clear talking to Roderigo after they plan Cassio's murder. "He hath a daily beauty in his life/ that makes me ugly" [V.i.20]. Besides Cassio, Iago's true hatred is for Othello. There are several reasons why Iago hates the man who trusts him so much. The obvious reason is that he ignored Iago in his choice for lieutenant. But there are other, subtler and even more serious reasons. A major one is Othello's race. He makes vivid descriptions of a black ram (Othello) and a yew (Desdemona) mating. He also envies Othello's great achievements, including Desdemona. Since Desdemona is very beautiful and very tempting, she is the aspiration of many men, including Iago. Even though he may not reveal it, it is very possible he wants Desdemona and jealous because Othello has her. One factor that is difficult to notice but very apparent when viewed in a general is Othello's personality. Othello (before his turn to evil) is a man that it was a pleasure to be with; a charismatic, trusting individual who earns the respect of anyone who knows him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Iago's talent and genius is an unfortunate waste of talent. Even though Othello is thought of as the tragic figure in the play that bears his name, the point is arguable. Iago is also a tragedy, one of potential; a man who has so much to give to the world but no filter of goodness through which to pass that offering through. His heart and mind have been conquered by jealousy and hate and all of his skill with people; his powers of improvisation and persuasion, have gone to the cause to hurt others and to cause one man, the man who trusted him most, ruin. Iago's aspects; his misleading outward appearance, his inner evil and his skill as a schemer are all what make him such a perfect villain. His two polar personalities are what make him so evil and so disliked. His role in the play is essential. Without Iago, there would be no reason for Othello to eventually kill his wife and no reason for Othello's life not to be ideal, as it is so often portrayed today. These days, there needs to be a reminder that life is not perfect and that everything will not always go as planned. Shakespeare makes sure that not everything goes perfectly for Iago, serving as a reminder of the harsh realities in our lives. ...read more.

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