Exploring Iago's Possible Motives in Shakespeare's Othello

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Iago is undoubtably the villian in William Shakespeare's 'Othello', however the reason behind his evil deeds are less clear. There are many possibilities as to why Iago betrayed his superior Othello. Was he simply envious of Othello's status or did Iago plot to destroy Othello for his own enjoyment?

In act One, scene one we see Iago's conversation with Roderigo about Cassio being promoted ahead of him and how Iago believes that this is because of favourtism. This suggests one of many reasons why Iago plots against Othello. From this conversation we see that Iago is envious of Cassio being promoted ahead of him, and plotting against Othello as a means of seeeeking revenge. “I follow him to serve my turn upon him”. Iago believes that he deserves the position of lieutenant over Cassio, however instead of confronting Othello about his decision, Iago plots in secret to destroy Othello and uses his reputation a “honest Iago” to his full advantage.

As the play continues however we see that Iago's motives change. In act two, scene one the audience hears from Iago, through use of a sil...
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