Essay on Iago the Machiavellian in Othello

Essay on Iago the Machiavellian in Othello

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Throughout history, there have been many human beings whom have been seen as either a hero or a villain. In their childhood, these people must had obstacles that were in their way, causing each individual to either work harder or give up. People, however; must understand that each individual has a potential in achieving their goals, but if one is mistreated or deceived due to jealousy, resentment, hatred, or ambition, it can lead to many catastrophic events. People who have pride and arrogance do not want to have equals, rather they want to see their victims suffer. These people have no difficulty in achieving their goals due to the fact that their victims have too innocent a nature to suspect the nefarious motives of their enemies. In this tragedy, Othello, Shakespeare has created a villain who behaves in this manner. Iago’s hatred, method of revenge, and vengeful hatred are the reasons of the lives lost in this play and the reasons that lead to Iago’s downfall.

Iago’s hatred of Othello and Cassio causes him to seek revenge and he is able to succeed because his victims are too innocent to suspect him. Iago is a Machiavellian Shakespearean character who cunningly convinces his victims of his full moral support and proves his innocence in a way that his victims do not suspect him. When Cassio finishes his conversation with Desdemona about how he will not have his job back, Iago unfolds his mischievous plan against Desdemona when he says that, “so will I turn her virtue into pitch, And out of her own goodness make the net that shall enmesh them all” (Shakespeare, 49). Iago plans to destroy Othello and Desdemona’s marriage by using Desdemona’s kindness toward Cassio against her and make her look unfaithful in front of her noble hu...

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...d leads to the deaths of many innocent characters and strips away each person’s individuality and trust, all for attaining power and recognition. Othello is not only a tragedy, but also an important reminder of how people are easily deceived to gain power and recognition. Shakespeare’s Othello stands as a warning to all generations. Some historians agree that William Shakespeare may have been one of the first psychologists in human history, since it enabled him to create a devious and Machiavellian character like Iago. Today, we study about psychopathic historic people like Adolf Hitler who annihilated millions of Jews in the name of revenge. It is in human nature to be vengeful and to attain what one desires. As said by Ghandi “An eye for an eye would make the world blind.”


Shakespeare, William. Othello. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.

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