Coleridge's Assessment of Iago from William Shakespeare's Othello

1851 Words8 Pages
Coleridge's Assessment of Iago from William Shakespeare's Othello This essay will explore Coleridge’s assessment of Iago. In Iago’s soliloquies, Iago gives many reasons as to why he hates Othello but he often abandons his ideas and searches for new ones. This is because he is not completely sure himself why he hates Othello so much and is just trying to find reasons so that he can plot against him. Iago often does not know if his reasons are true but will behave as if they are just so that he has a reason to hate Othello. Iago is always looking to justify himself and his hatred because it annoys him that he does not know why he despises Othello so much. We cannot rely on speeches of Iago talking to other characters because he is not always acting himself; most of the time he is just putting on an act. In his soliloquies however, we can see what Iago is really like. Iago’s first reason for hating Othello is because Cassio was given the job as lieutenant which was the job that Iago sought after. We can see his sense of inferiority, as he feels resentful of rewards and promotions when he is not the one receiving them. Despise me if I do not: three great ones of the city, In personal suit to make me his lieutenant (Act I, Scene I, Line 8) Iago is jealous of Cassio who got the job and Iago thinks very highly of himself – he thinks he could do a much better job than Cassio because he thinks he is cleverer than anyone else. Iago does not think Cassio is a proper soldier because he thinks he does not have enough experience and he just learns everything from books. One Michael Cassio, a Florentine, A fellow almost damn’... ... middle of paper ... ... just see him as a psychopath because there is no other way to describe him and no way to answer to why someone is evil – they just are. Another one of his motives is that he hates goodness and wants to destroy anything that makes people happy such as Othello’s marriage. Iago can also not keep his sense of inferiority and superiority in balance. I do however agree with the part of the quote “the motive hunting” because it is true that Iago does not know why he hates Othello so much therefore he needs to invent many reasons for hating him. I also agree with Iago being a “malignity” because he causes harm to others intentionally. In this play, Shakespeare explores the question “why are people evil?” but he does not know the answer. He suggests that sometimes there is no reason; someone such as Iago is just evil.

    More about Coleridge's Assessment of Iago from William Shakespeare's Othello

      Open Document