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Iago in William Shakespeare's Othello

Iago has many motives for destroying the other characters in the play.
One of these is jealousy. Iago is jealous of Othello, Desdemona,
Cassio and even his own wife, Emilia. He is jealous of Othello for
many reasons. Iago wants the power and the respect that Othello has.
We see this in Act 2 scene 1 where Iago says ‘the moor- howbeit I
endure him not- is of a constant, loving, noble nature’ which hints
that he wants what Othello has as they are both opposites and these
attributes may be the ones he will need to gain power. Iago is jealous
of Othello’s marriage with the senator’s daughter as it gives Othello
even more power and an attractive wife- he envies Othello for his wife
as he states ‘I do love her too’ which suggest that Iago may have
feelings towards Desdemona making him more jealous of what Othello
has. Also Iago is crude and racist and always calls Othello the ‘moor’
which is a racist term. This could be the reason for his jealousy as
he finds the fact that Othello is above him quite unnatural. In his
soliloquy, Iago states ‘he’s done my office’ referring to Othello,
which means Othello has slept with his wife making him even more
jealous, even though he does not know if it is true or not. Iago is
also jealous of Desdemona. He wants to be in her place- he wants to be
an influential person to Othello- he wants to be closer to him thus
closer to power. He twists the fact that Othello is passionate and
obsessed with Desdemona to his own advantage. We see this when Iago
states that he will ‘put the moor at least into a jealousy so strong
that judgement cannot cure’ meaning that Iago will use...


... middle of paper ...


...om Cassio) with his words and need not use them
anymore. We are left to make our own minds up about why Iago did it.
There are hints here and there but still we do not know him well
enough to conclude what his reasons were from the evidence we receive
throughout the play. We cannot even be sure that Iago was telling us
his true thoughts in his soliloquies about Othello and Cassio having
slept with Emilia. May be he is motiveless: he just invents reasons to
be bad. We do not hear of the affair situation anywhere outside Iagos
soliloquies. He does say himself ‘I am not what I am’ so does this not
mean that anything he seems to be he is not and everything he says is
a lie. I believe that Iago is the character with the most depth that I
have ever encountered- so much depth that it becomes almost impossible
to analyse him.


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