The Character of Iago in William Shakespeare's Othello

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The Character of Iago in William Shakespeare's Othello

This essay is about Iago and his relationship with other characters

throughout the play. I think Iago has three qualities, which leads to

death and destruction. Iago's jealousy of Cassio's promotion mentally

affects him and is set out for revenge and slaughter. His jealousy

builds up and his personality and emotions change, giving the play a

savage ending. Another quality is his racism towards Othello, mainly

at the beginning of the play.

Firstly, I'm going to focus on Iago's complaints about Othello

promoting Cassio; this is when the jealousy starts to show. He

obviously thinks Cassio has been promoted for all the wrong reasons,

the main reason being Cassio's friendship with Othello. A quotation

that shows a little bit of Iago's jealousy at the start of the play is

"Forsooth, a great arithmetician, one Michael Cassio, a Florentine",

in other words Iago thinks Cassio shouldn't have been promoted because

he's from Florence and because of this Iago feel betrayed by Othello.

Iago doesn't plot his jealousy he makes up his plans throughout the

play. He instead starts to manipulate Othello's open nature to imply

Desdemona's infidelity, which confuses Othello. This is both partly

jealousy and revenge because of the promotion, and in affect Othello

starts believing Iago in what he said about Cassio and Desdemona, and

loses sight of Desdemona's innocence.

This shows us that Iago's plan is working and that he's kept his

jealousy disguised and changed his real personality into a loving

caring person who cares for Othello and what's happening with the

'imaginary' affair. Othello is so brainwashed in what say to him

throughout the play and believes him. In a result Othello has an

epileptic fit, close towards the end of the play. A quotation, which

shows that Iago doesn't really like Othello, and that he's doing it

for his own good, is early on in the play when he says, "Even now,

now, very now an old black ram is tupping your white ewe".
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