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Iago as Evil in William Shakespeare's Othello Essay

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Iago as Evil in William Shakespeare's Othello

"Othello" is famously regarded as one of Shakespeare's greatest
tragedies. It explores the downfall of a great general Othello through
a series of unlucky circumstances. Othello's character shows a man of
high status whose job, marriage and life is ruined because of his
insecurities by a man named Iago. Iago (Othello's ensign) is able to
manipulate Othello, Othello's wife Desdemona and his own friend
Roderigo (a Venetian gentleman). He uses Desdemona's love of Othello
and Roderigo's money with his secret love for Desdemona, to manipulate
them towards his own good. He is a psychotic driven to kill, from
strangers on a battlefield to his wife in Othello's bedroom. In the
end he ends up with loosing everything he ever had, taking everyone
else and their lives with him.

Othello is the general of an army. He is a characterised as a "moor";
he is seen as being alternately or simultaneously noble or monstrous,
civil or savage. We know that he is black. He is the odd one out and
is insecure because of his race. Othello was most probably a Muslim
originally but there is evidence in the play that he rejected this
religion in order to become more accepted in society. He comes from
Venice. He is the general of a Venetian army, has power but only to a
certain degree. He is good at his job and that's why he is where he
is. These are the few facts we know about Othello. In Act 1 Scene 1,
Iago and Roderigo are arguing about Othello. They both seem to have
separate complaints about the same person. Iago is arguing over the
fact that he did not receive the job in the army that he wanted. He
thought th...


... middle of paper ...


... about it with Othello. Now as soon as Othello finds the handkerchief
on Cassio he wants answers from Desdemona straight away. This is the
type of insecurity Othello feels after realising he could loose her.
Iago asks many questions towards Othello. "Think my lord, O by the
heavens echoes men". He delays his tactics but does not allow any
breaks, one thing happens and he moves straight on to the next.

I have come to the conclusion that Iago, formerly an admirer of
Othello, but devastated by being rejected and therefore turning his
love to hate. He is a loser and failure, who suffers from an
inferiority complex and feels compelled to try and prove himself. Some
may call him a megalomaniac, in love with power for its own sake.
Personally these main three sentences sum up on what I thought drove
Iago to become so evil.


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