Iago's Mind in William Shakespeare's Othello Essay

Iago's Mind in William Shakespeare's Othello Essay

Length: 1491 words (4.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Iago's Mind in William Shakespeare's Othello

In Shakespeare’s play Othello, the character of Iago takes on the role of a person warped within his own thoughts and feelings. Although people today have the benefit of psychology, back in the 1600s people with severe psychological disorders were left un-medicated and free to roam as citizens of society. Although Iago would have benefited from medication of today, in his mind he was the best, even though his own imagination got the better of him and fed his own misguided mentality. One of the best examples of this warped mentality is a conversation which Iago has with Othello mid-way through the play (3.3.160-66). As one analyzes Iago’s words, the depth and complexity of his mental unrest ooze between the lines of this speech. And after careful analysis of the complexity of Iago’s thoughts in this speech, Iago’s psychological shortcomings of conceit and self-worth unravel before our eyes.

At first glance, as Iago starts to verbally protect his reputation in the eyes of Othello, who has accused Iago of “…conspir[ing] against thy friend…” (3.3.147), Iago appears to be speaking of the nature of his reputation. But the lines can be analyzed on a much deeper level. When Iago says, “Good name in man and woman, dear my Lord…” (3.3.160), the obvious first impression is that he is issuing the beginning of a statement about his own reputation. But, deep within the layers, this statement can be seen as a start in expressing how Iago feels about Othello having taken his reputation as a man and smashed it in the public eye. Iago mentions early in the play that, “…it is thought abroad that ‘twixt my sheets / He has done my office” (1.3.369-70). By this earlier statement we s...

... middle of paper ...

...y as a man, Iago ploys, “Reputation is an idle and most false imposition, oft got without merit / and lost without deserving” (2.3.251-52). Hence, we wonder, was Iago speaking of Othello, or Cassio? Or both?

Within this albeit short speech we get a strong glimpse at how tangled the web of Iago’s mind can be. We get a feel for the depth of his psychological unrest and see how his mind can wrap quickly his feelings from one person to another in one quick jump of phrases. In these seven short lines we see Iago’s self-concern about how others perceive him, we see his own fixation on how great he sees himself, and we see how he deceives himself. For me, Iago’s psychosis intrigues me to read this play again and again since, on a very basic level, most of us can probably see parts of Iago within ourselves, no matter how deep within ourselves we have to look.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on William Shakespeare 's Othello - The Mind Will Search For Absurd

- Once the feeling of insecurity is planted in one’s mind, it will grow like a weed and destroy surrounding relationships. Some believe, although a common misconception, that the root of such an outcome is jealousy and misogyny. While in actuality, the ultimate factor instead is lack of confidence and assurance in oneself. Only through possessing self regard can one prevent corresponding results. If not, feelings of anxiety, single mindedness, and paranoia will eventually lead to relationships ruining....   [tags: Othello, Iago, Anxiety, Robert Browning]

Powerful Essays
1027 words (2.9 pages)

Iago in William Shakespeare's Othello Essay

- Iago in William Shakespeare's Othello William Shakespeare, born: 1564 died: 1616, is considered one of the greatest writers who has ever lived. He had a unique way of putting things into words. All of his plays, sonnets, and poems have gotten great recognition. But when Shakespeare wrote Othello he created one of the most controversial villains of all times; Iago. He is best described as disturbing, ruthless, and amoral. No other character can even come close to his evil (Iago: The 1). Iago, in the play Othello, is a very intriguing villain....   [tags: William shakespeare Othello Iago Essays]

Powerful Essays
1219 words (3.5 pages)

Iago, By William Shakespeare Essay

- Iago is one of the most complex characters in William Shakespeare’s Othello. To most of the characters, he is “Honest Iago” (Shakespeare, 5.2.73). however, the audience knows that Iago is the furthest thing from honest. Iago is a devil bent on destroying the lives of everyone around him. At the beginning of the play, the audience learns that Iago is determined to ruin Othello’s marriage to Desdemona. He has appointed a new lieutenant, Michael Cassio. This angers Iago because he feels that he has much more military experience and should be the lieutenant....   [tags: Iago, Othello, William Shakespeare]

Powerful Essays
1042 words (3 pages)

Iago By William Shakespeare 's Othello Essay

- There is no greater power in the world than the power of words. In Shakespeare’s Othello, the characters become mere marionettes forced to perform in the sadist, Iago, sick and twisted show. Iago manipulates lies and truth to create a brilliantly elaborate scheme that allows him to easily control any person of his choosing. Iago discretion enables him to fly under the radar undetected to further progress his ultimate goal of bringing down Othello. The profound use of language contributed to Iago’s deception of character such as Roderigo, Cassio and Othello....   [tags: Othello, Iago, Michael Cassio, Deception]

Powerful Essays
1011 words (2.9 pages)

William Shakespeare 's Othello And The Humiliation Of Iago Essay

- ' 'Iago uses many different lies to complete his horrific goals. What are some of these lies, and how do they relate to his own goals and motivations. ' ' The tragedy "Othello" by W. Shakespeare - not just a play of jealousy, it is a drama of collision two worlds. One of them is a world of an absolute cynic, Iago manipulator, and a second world - is the world of all other characters of the tragedy. The ability to understand the true nature of people around Iago makes him quickly navigate the situation....   [tags: Othello, Iago, Michael Cassio, Desdemona]

Powerful Essays
974 words (2.8 pages)

Iago 's Manipulations As A Skeptic Othello And Desdemona Essay examples

- To clearly illustrate Iago’s manipulations as a skeptic Othello and Desdemona are the last of the puppeteer’s targets to take down. Both Othello and Desdemona suffer from “the idols of the theatre” (Aph 44, Bacon 152). Bacon defines the idols of theater as “idols which have immigrated into men’s minds from the various dogmas and philosophies, and also the wrong laws of demonstration” (Aph 44, Bacon 152). Othello seems to have clear principles that he abides by and when shown that his principles are not allowing him to have the life he thought he would he has a different set of principles that he follows for revenge....   [tags: Iago, Othello, William Shakespeare, Character]

Powerful Essays
700 words (2 pages)

Essay on Othello, By William Shakespeare

- From the play, Othello, by William Shakespeare i had concluded that, due to Iago’s evil nature, he had set-up the fate of Othello and Desdemona and this is because he wanted revenge on Othello. Surprisingly I have found that some critics disagree with this or they contradict it with different explanations as to why they think otherwise. The critics that I will be discussing about will be William Marginn (1987), Michael L. LaBlanc (2003) and Fred West (1978) which all are at different time periods....   [tags: Othello, William Shakespeare, Iago]

Powerful Essays
1430 words (4.1 pages)

The Tragedy Of Othello By William Shakespeare Essay

- The tragedy of Othello by William Shakespeare shows what a person, like Iago, with great intellect and wit uses these talents to cause pain in love and terror to those around him. Iago holds physiological power over Othello thoughts by lying to him and giving him false evidence of his wife Desdemona. In the process of Iago’s plan, Desdemona becomes the victim of pain and sorrow from Othello. Although Iago possess great intellect, he also feels threat of jeopardy towards his plan of bringing down Othello by, Cassio, Roderigo, and Emilie....   [tags: Othello, Marriage, Iago, William Shakespeare]

Powerful Essays
1199 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Iago in William Shakespeare's Othello

- Iago in William Shakespeare's Othello Unequivocally, Iago plays an important and major function in the tragedy of Othello. By the end of the play, Iago has been directly responsible for the deaths of Roderigo, Emilia and the protagonist and his love. Iago's importance to the play is revealed by his contribution to the plot and his significance relative to other characters. Iago's function, which invariably adds to the importance he has on the play, is to lead to the downfall of Othello therefore revealing the themes of hate, jealousy and revenge....   [tags: William Shakespeare Othello Essays]

Powerful Essays
2694 words (7.7 pages)

Essay about The Character of Iago from Othello

- The Character of Iago from Othello The character of Iago is crucial for the play, and its essence has often been presented as ‘the evil taking a human form.’ What is important to any attempt to understand this play is the mechanism that makes the action moving forward. If this is ‘the force of evil’, represented in the character of Iago, this gives him the most relevant role, the power to forward the entire course of the play in certain direction. A number of fortunate circumstances helps his plot, and even in the most dangerous moments everything seems to fit his plans....   [tags: Othello William Shakespeare Iago Plays Essays]

Powerful Essays
4193 words (12 pages)