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"Shakespeare's Iago is a superhuman figure, a superb artist in evil". How far can each be supported from a study of the play? How do you see Shakespeare's Iago? Othello

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Khazrul Fariq Kamaludin 13Y English Ms. Barrett "Shakespeare's Iago is a superhuman figure, a superb artist in evil". How far can each be supported from a study of the play? How do you see Shakespeare's Iago? Shakespeare's Iago is a very sophisticated and unpredictable character. He is part vice and is a very deceitful and evil character. We see him as a character who tempts mankind into performing devilish conducts. This is why he is almost certainly known as inherently evil. There is a suggestion that Shakespeare's Iago is a cold-blooded creature because of motiveless plots, but we are however offered a number of reasons for his plots and plans. Like many Shakespearean villains, he is quick to improvise and he carries out his evil procedures using materials he has at hand e.g. Desdemona's handkerchief. Many questions arise when discussing about Iago; what motivates him? What lies beneath the corrupted surface? We might also question his understanding and self-knowledge. Nevertheless, we do know that professional jealousy is the reason for disgracing Cassio. ...read more.


Notice the imagery of a 'Barbary horse' being used to refer to Othello. Shakespeare's Iago is cruelly emphasizing Othello as an animal with large sexual organs. It is mainly from Iago's depictions of Othello that we so far have a terrible description and image of the Moor in our minds. We do know that Iago carries out his plans merely out of spite, but some critics have suggested that Iago may have homosexual feelings towards Othello. Although this is perceptibly debatable, this suggestion makes us wonder as to how far we know Iago. He does not evidently inform us of his nature and characteristic. All we learn from him is of his incinerating plans and plots against Cassio and Othello. It is Iago's ability and skill to deceive others that primarily sets him into fulfilling his treacherous quest. Iago only speaks to his wife nicely when he thinks that she has something for him e.g. the handkerchief. Otherwise, his tone is cold and contemptuous, "A good wench, give it to me." ...read more.


This is a wonderful and alarming irony as the foolish Roderigo speaks the truth without even realising it. Roderigo is gullible and a 'simpleton'. He has poor judgement and these flaws made him a target of Iago's. He does however become suspicious of Iago but still manages to get himself talked around. We see Roderigo as basically a tool that Shakespeare's Iago uses to achieve his plots and plans. It is often implied that Iago does not fully understand those around him. Some say that he recognises others' virtues and qualities, but see them as weaknesses. The use of imagery in Othello is to establish the dramatic atmosphere of the play. We see Iago as inherently evil and there are associations of him with the images of hell and the devil. In his soliloquy at the end of Act 1 Scene 3, he outlines his intentions when he says "Hell and night must bring this monstrous birth to the world's light." It also seems that he revels in the fact that he is dishonest and malevolent. He even vows to make Desdemona's life a living hell and promises to wreak vengeance on her. ...read more.

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