This essay will explore Coleridge’s assessment of Iago. In Iago’s
soliloquies, Iago gives many reasons as to why he hates Othello but he
often abandons his ideas and searches for new ones. This is because he
is not completely sure himself why he hates Othello so much and is
just trying to find reasons so that he can plot against him. Iago
often does not know if his reasons are true but will behave as if they
are just so that he has a reason to hate Othello. Iago is always
looking to justify himself and his hatred because it annoys him that
he does not know why he despises Othello so much. We cannot rely on
speeches of Iago talking to other characters because he is not always
acting himself; most of the time he is just putting on an act. In his
soliloquies however, we can see what Iago is really like.
Iago’s first reason for hating Othello is because Cassio was given the
job as lieutenant which was the job that Iago sought after. We can see
his sense of inferiority, as he feels resentful of rewards and
promotions when he is not the one receiving them.
Despise me if I do not: three great ones of the city,
In personal suit to make me his lieutenant
(Act I, Scene I, Line 8)
Iago is jealous of Cassio who got the job and Iago thinks very highly
of himself – he thinks he could do a much better job than Cassio
because he thinks he is cleverer than anyone else. Iago does not think
Cassio is a proper soldier because he thinks he does not have enough
experience and he just learns everything from books.
One Michael Cassio, a Florentine,
A fellow almost damn’...
... middle of paper ...
... just see him as a psychopath because there
is no other way to describe him and no way to answer to why someone is
evil – they just are. Another one of his motives is that he hates
goodness and wants to destroy anything that makes people happy such as
Othello’s marriage. Iago can also not keep his sense of inferiority
and superiority in balance.
I do however agree with the part of the quote “the motive hunting”
because it is true that Iago does not know why he hates Othello so
much therefore he needs to invent many reasons for hating him. I also
agree with Iago being a “malignity” because he causes harm to others
In this play, Shakespeare explores the question “why are people evil?”
but he does not know the answer. He suggests that sometimes there is
no reason; someone such as Iago is just evil.
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