Iago has a great understanding of people and how they will react to
different situations and this skill allows him to control the action
so neatly that it as if is he himself is the playwright. He has no
regard for the thoughts of others and skilfully manipulates those
around him to trick them to play a part in a strategy he has so
meticulously planned, for example, the brawl scene. But by no means
does he carry out his plans regardless of other events; if an
opportunity to achieve any of his desires arises then he immediately
takes hold of it and uses it to his advantage.
Iago is an excellent representation of the Vice character of drama.
Shakespeare is brilliant in his transformation of the handsome, fairly
two-dimensional rogue in Cinthio's original to the evil egotist who
preys on human emotions, a character so deep he could undergo
psychological analysis. Indeed is can, and has been said, "Iago is the
spirit of negation set against the spirit of creation," Geoffrey
Wilson Knight. He shows immense wit throughout the play but uses this
gift and his graft of words for pure evil and to bring about human
suffering, something he sadistically enjoys. This idea of intelligent
and scheming subordinates would have worried the Jacobean audience who
relied strongly on the class structure.
S.T. Coleridge's interpretation of Iago's character, "(Iago shows) the
motive hunting of a motiveless malignity" cannot be seen as entirely
true as to call Iago motiveless would be false. It could be said has
too many motives that lead him to construct ways of bringing about
people's downfalls. He feels betrayed...
... middle of paper ...
...t the time to a white character.
Iago brings about the downfall of several characters, breaks
Brabantio's heart with words, poisons Othello's delight, turns
Desdemona's virtue to pitch and still feels not the slightest trace of
remorse, instead all he feels is pleasure at others pain.
Shakespeare's managed to turn Cinthio's "scorned lover" character into
an evil, twisted and unfeeling sadist. He is hugely disturbing towards
Jacobean audiences of the time for the crooked manipulation and the
faults of the human character he personifies. We can all identify
certain aspects of his character in varying degrees in out own
personalities, hopefully this can lead us to change our ways when we
see how wretched this character is, he has an insatiable appetite for
suffering and no matter how much he causes, he is still unhappy.
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