A classic megalomaniac, Iago suffers from a massive ego, and therefore feels intensely jealous when talent other than his own is recognized. The play opens to Iago announcing that he hates Othello,”Despise me If I do not. Three great ones of the city, In personal suit to make me his lieutenant, Off-capped to him; and by the faith of man, I know my price, I am worth no worse a place” (1,1,8-12). It is Othello’s pride and partiality towards his friends, Iago claims, that caused him to choose Cassio as lieutenant in lieu of his “Ancient”. While Iago is understandably slighted that a man, whose knowledge of war came from a book rather than the field, has been appointed to a position over him, saying that it was Othello’s pride that produced Cassio’s promotion suggests that Iago t...
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...uinely sweet on her. When Desdemona asks Iago to distract her from worrying about Othello, who may be lost at sea, Iago obliges by plying his wit upon her. This particular conversation does not serve to further his plot by causing his good image to increase, as he praises people of ill-manner, nor does it set up a future situation. It is simply conversation. However, Iago recognizes his love will forever go unrequited even if Othello were to die, and so his passion turned bitter and he jealously decided that if he can’t have her, no one can. Goading Othello into blind jealousy, he also restrains the Moor with cautionary words- like holding back a rabid dog whilst prodding it with a stick, so that once released, there is no chance of the madness wearing off mid-bite. Iago wants to ensure that when Othello says, “I’ll tear her all to pieces” (3,3, 447), he really will.
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