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Samuel Taylor Coleridge believes the character of Iago reveals 'the motive hunting of motiveless malignancy.' What motivates the character of Iago?

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  • Essay length: 1789 words
  • Submitted: 13/01/2005
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GCSE Othello

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge believes the character of Iago reveals 'the motive hunting of motiveless malignancy.'

What motivates the character of Iago?

In this essay I will be looking at what motivates Iago's character from different approaches from sociological perspectives such as the Marxist perspective, the feminist perspective and structuralism, and from a historical or generic standpoint. I will also be looking at the text, including schools of critical theory.

Iago is in almost every respect the very direct opposite of Othello. Where Othello is open and straightforward, Iago is not only crooked in all his dealings but also actually reveals in his crookedness. Where Othello judge's men by his own high motives and standards, to Iago men are no more than animals upright. Above all, while love is the soul and centre of Othello's world, without which 'chaos is come again' (3.3.92), Iago lives, moves and has his being in a world of pure hatred. Iago, unlike Othello, is seen as the villain, he is a master manipulator of people and gets the other characters in the play to do just what he wants. He has no typical motive for what he does,

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