Iago's Motivation in Shakespeare's Othello

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Iago's Motivation in Shakespeare's Othello The actions of Iago in the William Shakespeare play Othello were unanimously the actions of a man with little remorse or compassion toward the parties involved. There have been many debates over the years as to what drove a man to take such actions upon the people close to him, some believe it was the jealousy he felt towards Cassio after he was given a military rank which Iago was looked over for, other readers have felt that Iago was insane and didn't fully realize his actions or the consequences of them. There is a reason that is far more believable given the path Iago followed during the play; Iago was a person who gained pleasure from the pain and emotional stress of others, although displaying sociopathic behaviour he knew what he was doing and did it as a source of personal amusement, simply put Iago was what today we call a jerk. As discussed in our class before, it is a common belief that all humans have a touch of evil in them and that certain situations bring that evil to the surface, the degree and context of evil depends on the person and can it can lead to different courses of action. In the case of Iago, he did not need a specific event or situation for his evil side to surface it was already showing in his personality. The evil inside Iago was the pleasure he gained from causing harm to the lives of others, he showed this throughout the play through his interactions with others. These interactions show that Iago was neither jealous nor insane when he plotted against Othello but that it was just his nature to cause harm to the environment surrounding him. The magnitude of the scenario caused by Iago is something far to great to be an act of revenge, there is only one thing that would cause a man to do such a horrific deed, getting off on being a jerk. If the motivating factor was the jealousy Iago felt that the revenge would somehow reflect what he was jealous about, the actions Iago took in no way reflected the decision made by Othello and therefore it is highly unlikely that Iago took the lives of three people to avenge something he never brought up in the play. The act that most strongly displays this characteristic of Iago is his interaction with Cassio at the party celebrating the defeat of the Turks.
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