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Iago's' Motivation in Othello.

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Iago's' Motivation Othello is a story of love deceit and murder. Othello is a black general in the Venetian army. He falls in love with, and marries, a congressman's daughter, Desdemona. Iago is a high-ranking soldier under Othello. It is not known why but Iago's main objective in the play is to break up Othello and Desdemona. Iago tricks Othello into thinking that Desdemona is cheating on him with another officer under Othello's rank, Michael Cassio. Othello does not confront Desdemona but instead puts his trust in Iago. At the end of the play Othello ends up killing Desdemona, and then himself. Iago ends up tricking Othello to think that Desdemona is cheating, provokes Cassio into a fight therefore getting him expelled as lieutenant, and his own friend Roderigo into attacking Cassio. There is no question that Iago is the driving force of Shakespeare's play Othello. Iago is conniving and deceitful. He successfully tricks Othello, Cassio, and Roderigo. He is the catalyst of all the trouble in the play. Nobody will dispute that. What is a major question though, is why? What is Iago's' motivation for causing all this trouble? ...read more.


It is believed that Hamlet was either gay or bisexual. It is also rumored that Shakespeare himself might have indulged in homosexual affairs. There are many references in the play that Iago is in fact a homosexual. In the beginning of the play Iago reveals that he no longer sleeps with his wife, Emilia. Some may say I just disproved myself. How could Iago be gay and have a wife? In the 1600's in Europe, homosexuality was not a widely accepted practice. It was probably very common for gay men to have "beard" wives, or covers. There is little contact between Iago and Emilia throughout the play. There is only one scene in which Iago and Emilia are alone. In this scene Iago treats Emilia very coarsely and like he does not want to deal with her. He refers to her as "common", or of loose morals and wench. The marriage seems like a "political marriage". Where the couple only stays together to avoid social discourse. At the end of the play Emilia immediately abandons her husband when Desdemona dies. Emilia doesn't even seem surprised that Iago masterminded this scheme. That can only illustrate how close their marriage was. Iago seems to show no sexual interest in Emilia. ...read more.


He has no reserve in saying it because he doesn't see it as being "gay". Shakespeare is a master of the English language. He hints things without saying it. During a struggle, Iago cuts of Cassio's leg but this is impossible to do in one slice like they say in the play. Also Cassio is up and walking at the end of the play. Walking is quite tough without a leg. By "leg", Shakespeare might have been referring to Cassio's penis. This doesn't have a direct correlation to Iago being gay, but maybe he would cut off Cassio's penis in a "lover's rage". Meaning there would have to be a reason for Iago to target this area and not go for a death blow. The work of Shakespeare has been the center of many conversations and controversies. They are timeless stories of love, betrayal, murder, and many topics that still keep people glued to his work today. Shakespeare tells his stories but leaves some things up for interpretation. Such as Iago's motivation in his acts. Many of his plays have survived over 400 years so obviously there is no way we will ever know exactly what Shakespeare intended when he created his characters. As more and more time passes there are new ideas and theories on Shakespeare's work. None of them right or wrong but just ideas. ...read more.

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