In this quote, Iago describes himself as a demonic Satan-like person contradicting God's quote 'I am that I am.' Indeed, Iago represents the very essence of the play's theme: appearance versus reality. In reality he is the cunning, untrustworthy, selfish, and plotting evil that the audience gets to know through his soliloquies, but in his appearance he is that same old, trustworthy, run of the mill Iago that they think they know so well. In fact, Othello, after he murders his own wife, accredits Iago as, 'An honest man he is, and hates the slime/ That sticks on filthy deeds.' Inopportunely for Othello, who seems to trust Iago so, Iago is the exact opposite of what Othello takes him to be.
He states that “There are those corrupt principles, in reigning power in them, and in full possession of them, that are seeds of hell fire” (196). He shows that every man has nothing but evil inside of him, and can do nothing to rid himself of it. All of this evil makes a man “as it were heavy as lead, and to tend downwards with great weight and pressure towards hell” (199). He also believes that man’s righteousness is weak, and anyone that relies on his good works to earn his way into a relationship with God is destined to fail. He says that all of the good deeds that a man could do would keep him out of hell just as much as “a spider's web would have to stop a falling rock” (199).
In the former, John Milton uses the devil to display how vanity and pride are the sins that halt us in an opportunity to live blissfully, with and under God. Philip Pullman, in his twist on Paradise Lost, The Golden Compass, claims that the original sin was the first, and most essential, step in human beings claiming their free will. He writes the devil (Lord Asriel) as a manipulative, selfish but ultimately admirable character. One who stands his ground and holds onto his beliefs with an intense passion. Milton’s Satan, on the other hand, comes off originally as charming, but slowly presents himself to be weak and unsure, and his ideals are eventually presented as a mask for his insatiable pride.
Othello refers to Iago as “honest Iago” throughout the play unaware of his devilish acts. His worst enemy Cassio even refers to Iago as an honest man saying: "I never knew a Florentine more kind and honest" (Act i.Scene i||40). This shows the power of words that dwell within Iago, even though he is on the path to destroy his victims, he is still known as a kind noble man. Due to Iago’s empty inner shell, he was absolutely heartless creating many false realities and always going from an outsider to an insider corrupting the minds of many innocent characters, leading to their downfalls and ultimately to his own downfall too. To conclude Iago manipulates and corrupts people to a certain extent where he is furthermore corrupting
Iago is an evil character as while he has no legitimate reason for his evil plans, he rationalizes the reasons for his actions and still sets out to ruin the lives of those around him. He hates Michael Cassio, for receiving the lieutenancy instead on himself. Ranting to Roderigo, he says, “[Cassio is] mere prattle without practice/Is all his soldiership…And I, of whom his eyes had seen proof…must be beleed and calmed. (I.i.27-32). Iago believes that he has been unjustly overlooked for the position, as he is clearly more qualified than Cassio.
God is the originator of Goodness, as Satan is the originator of Evilness. All in all, Satan is a perverse representation of God. Satan's three main characteristics; envy, deceit, and pride; are also a contributing factor in the relevance of... ... middle of paper ... ...ty works together for a common goal, all are wicked and deceitful, and would undoubtedly turn on one another. Death would kill Sin, just as Satan would have killed Death, if it meant that he would have remained unharmed. Satan is the father and creator of the family; therefore nothing good can become of the relationship.
But the Jacobean audience know that Iago is lying and that he is not religious at all, as he is always using negative words associated with ‘Hell’ and ‘fire’. This proves that Iago is untruthful and equivocating; resulting in another example of dramatic irony. A modern day audience would not think of hell as a non religious word unlike during the 17th century. So perspectives towards these negative comments would change. By using these techniques, Shakespeare successfully introduces the theme of Jealousy.
The reader no longer needs to label the morality of such a character; Satan defines himself with the use of the pronoun 'my' and the preceding definition and assessment that 'My self am hell'. Furthermore through Satan's own assessment the distancing technique by the word 'my' appears to exaggerate the notion of the definition of himself, the natural pause due to the unusual syntax further accentuates this. The use of Milton's alliteration in 'Racked with deep despair' when describing Satan's countenance only empathises this pitiful nature. However this sense of self dou... ... middle of paper ... ...ng that G-d deliberately leads Satan into greater evil. From the outset it appears that G-d and Satan remain in opposition together, an important characterisation of Milton.
The traditional image of Satan is that of a destroyer, tempter, and all-around malevolent being, possessing no sympathetic qualities. Yet in Milton’s epic, Satan is not simply indomitable. He is also empathetic and sensitive, and lacks neither imagination nor resourcefulness. Milton works with the tension created by his character to question the reader’s long standing beliefs of the angel of the bottomless pit. In Areopagitica, Milton had already laid the foundation to this idea: “Good and evil we know in the field of this world grow up together almost inseparably; and the knowledge of good is so involved and interwoven with the knowledge of evil…” ().
"Evil" is acknowledged as a force separate and opposite from "good". Cain's Lucifer admits the all-encompassing nature of evil in Act II Scene II: "But ignorance of evil doth not save from evil,/ it must still roll on the same,/ A part of all things". Even before Cain has committed murder or seemingly done anything wrong, Lucifer refers to "thy present state of sin - and thou art evil" (Cain Act II Scene II) Evil, then, is a potential present in everyone, though it is not necessarily acted on in every case, and indeed is not desirable. Cain declares "I thirst for good" and Lucifer's answer shows that this is the normal attitude for men - "And who and what doth not? Who covets evil/ For its own bitter sake?