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Character Analysis Of Iago In Shakespeare's Othello

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According to William Shakespeare,“The prince of darkness is a gentleman”. Iago in William Shakespeare 's, Othello, is a brilliant character capable of controlling and manipulating surrounding characters. Iago admits in his soliloquies of attempting to destroy Othello’s happiness for different reasons. Iago has an uncanny ability to exploit people who have a higher moral standard to achieve what he wants. Iago is a cynical sociopath who takes pleasure from his victim 's misery as they unknowingly wade through Iago’s plans that are as dark as a moonless night.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge calls Iago “The motive-hunting of motiveless Malignity”. Coleridge’s statement appears as though Iago is an uncontrollable villain who has no real motive and only
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The amount of control and power Iago has over other characters is exceptional. Iago enforces his loyalty and honesty by self-proclamation “But I’ll set down the pegs that make this music, as honest as I am.”(II.i.197-198). Othello, the character who Iago seeks to destroy, completely trusts Iago. Othello admits his trust when he says: “My life upon her faith! Honest Iago” (I.iii.289). Iago is aware of the trust that Othello has in Iago when Iago says: “The Moor is of a free and open nature / that thinks men honest that but seem so; and will be tenderly led by th’ nose / as asses are” (I.iii.390-394). When Iago says “that thinks men honest that but seem so;” means Othello believes Iago to be honest, when he is anything but honest. Because Othello believes Iago to be honest, that makes it easier to lead Othello on when Iago says “ and will be tenderly led by th’ nose / as asses are”. Iago calls Othello an ass who Iago will lead to his own desolation. Iago’s ability in being mendacious is best represented by his continual inveigle of Rodrigo: “thus do I ever make the fool my purse / For I mine own gained knowledge should profane / If I would time expend with such a snipe / But for my sport and profit.” (I.iii.374-377). Meaning Iago would never acquaint himself with Roderigo under normal circumstances. Iago is “friends” with Roderigo because he is rich and fun, being the idiot he is: ‘for my sport and profit”. Iago cleverly…show more content…
Iago begins by planting seeds of doubt in the mind of Othello about Desdemona’s faithfulness: “Iago: Ha! I not like that. Othello: what dost thou say? Iago: Nothing, my lost; or if-I know not what. Othello: Was not that Cassio parted from my wife? Iago: Cassio, my lord? No, sure, I cannot think it / That he would steal so guilty-like, Seeing your coming. Othello: I do believe ‘twas he’” (III.iii.34-40). The seed of fear that Desdemona is seeing Cassio behind Othello’s back begins here. Because Othello demoted Cassio for acting so dishonorably when he was drunk, Othello could believe that Cassio would try to get revenge by bedding Othello’s wife. Iago furthers this fear by pointing out that Desdemona is capable of lying to male figures, such as her father: “She deceived her father by marrying you” (III.iii.206). Meaning that Desdemona is capable of lying to her father, therefore she is capable of lying to her husband. Othello begins trusting Iago more than he does Desdemona. Iago’s deception leads Othello further and further into the darkness of madness. Madness to the point that Othello murders his own wife and kills
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