Is Iago An Amoral Character?

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Psychopathy; being a mental illness characterized by persistent impulsive, irresponsible, antisocial, and often violent or aggressive behavior, often to get what they want regardless of others. This personality disorder has been noted in psychiatric patient records since the nineteenth century. Many characters in; plays, movies, books, television shows; show psychopathic traits. An example of this would be “The Joker” playing in The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger portraying a psychotic feature in his character nearly every scene. Looking at William Shakespeare’s character Iago, evil profusion swarms from him, but it’s not just his cold-heartedness; his intellect is what intrigues the reader most. To add depth in Shakespeare’s character, he made Iago an amoral character. The callous and devious character traits start to show in the play when Iago got in the perfect position to start misguiding the other characters. Iago had a little green monster following him for the envy and desire to have the position and power Othello had. “One Michael Cassio, a Florentine, A fellow almost damned in a fair wife, that never set a squadron in the field, nor the division of a battle knows, more than a spinster—unless the bookish theoric, where in the togèd consuls can propose as masterly as he: mere prattle, without practice Is all his soldiership. But he, sir, had the election; and I, of whom his eyes had seen the proof At Rhodes, at Cyprus and on other grounds Christian and heathen, must be beleed and calmed by debitor and creditor. This counter-caster, he, in good time, must his lieutenant be” Iago, (1.1.21-34). Clearly jealous of the choice of Othello giving Cassio the military job Iago felt most suited for. Throughout the play, Iago’s amorality... ... middle of paper ... ...ith infidelity. Iago says in the play that he suspects Othello has slept with Emilia, he is implying her meaning to him, but there doesn’t seem to be much caring at all. Iago is, if not, one of the most complex characters ever written by William Shakespeare. This character plays a crucial role in the play, being the main source of need for climax. Iago continuously plays with your mind as you read through his manipulation and deceitfulness. This makes me question if William Shakespeare knew Iago was in the suit of characteristics of a psychopath, or if those were just common traits of a person in his time era, or completely by fluke? He fits into this disorder with his lack of empathy, pathological lying, conning and manipulative, glib and superficial charm. These characteristics add a depth to his character and is the reason to the success of the written piece.
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