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The devil Himself - Iago in Othello

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15 November 1999 Lizzy Wood "The devil Himself" 'The devil himself', an accusation against Iago is one of great complexity. Iago refers to the devil several times throughout the first two acts both directly and indirectly. However, is he referring to himself at the same time? I feel that Iago is far more complex than to simply be referred to as the devil. However it is true that he may have many devilish characteristics, for example, he cares about only one person, which is himself. He does not care who he hurts on the way to what he wants. Iago can easily manipulate people's feelings. He manages to twist minds, wreck marriages and cast jealousy whilst no one thinks for a minute that he may be 'hiding behind a mask' as he lives through and innocent face. He is thought throughout the first two acts to be a very honest and truthworthy man, this often comes up with great irony as people comment of how honest he is. ...read more.


Iago is saying that in following Othello as a leader he can also follow his wishes to seek revenge of him by tricking him in to believing that he is his good friend. Iago is also racist, which in those days was not uncommon but in order arouse Desdemona's father he uses such expressions as (Ii L90)"An old back ram is tupping your white ewe. Arise. Arise / Awake the snorting citizens with the bell / Or else the devil will make a grandshire of you". Iago is saying how an old black man is messing with Brabanitio's white daughter. He than goes on to explain that if Brabantio was not to respond than the devil would be making a fool of him. This also shows how although Iago is a 'good friend' he is telling on him and trying to cause trouble. When Desdemona's father confronts Othello, there is havoc, as he is accused of witchcraft (Iiii L61-4 ) ...read more.


Iago says that Roderigo is used as he slept with Iago's wife also. Iago tries to get Cassio to admit his love for Desdemona. Iago manages to get Cassio drunk and then Roderigo gets Cassio into a fight and Cassio takes it all out on Montano, the governor of Cyprus. The warning bell then wakes Othello; he is cross and gets rid of Cassio as lieutenant. Iago then says how he will tell Othello that Desdemona and Cassio are having an affair. Iago explains how like a devil he puts on a tactful show but inside I'm demoralized (IIIiii L317-9)"Directly to his good? Divinity of hell! / When devils will blackest sins put on / They do suggest at first with heavenly shows / As I do now." Although Iago even refers to himself as a devil there is far more to him than what at first meets the eye. ...read more.

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