Shakespeare's Othello Essay - Honest Iago

Shakespeare's Othello Essay - Honest Iago

Length: 698 words (2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Othello - Honest Iago


The most interesting and round character in the tragic play Othello, by
William Shakespeare, is "honest" Iago. Through carefully though-out words
and actions, Iago manipulates others to do things in which he benefits.
Iago is the main driving force in "Othello," pushing several characters
towards their tragic end.

Iago is not a traditional villain for he plays a unique and complex
role. Unlike most villains in tragic plays, evidence of Iago's deception
is not clearly visible. Iago is smart and an excellent judge of people
and their characters. He uses this keen sense of knowledge to his
advantage. For example, Iago knows that Roderigo has feelings for
Desdemona and assumes he would do anything to have her as his own. Iago
attempts to manipulate Roderigo by saying:
It cannot be that Desdemona should long continue her love to the Moor-
put money in thy purse- nor he his to her: It is a violent commencement,
and thou shalt see and answerable sequestration; put but money in thy
purse.
[Act I, Scene III].
By playing on Roderigo's hopes, Iago swindles money and jewels from
Roderigo, making himself a substantial profit. Iago also says, "Thus do I
ever make my fool my purse" [Act I, Scene III] once Roderigo has left.
"Honest" Iago cleverly disguises his own goals as Roderigo blindly
follows him.

Iago continually operates with alterier motives in "Othello." Iago takes
advantage of his friendships with Cassio as well as Roderigo. Cassio
blindly follows Iago, thinking the entire time that Iago is trying to
help him. During this whole time, Iago plans the demise of Cassio, his
supposed friend. In order to obtain Cassio's position as lieutenant, Iago
convinces Cassio to take another drink, knowing very well that it will
make him drunk and disgrace him. Iago obviously tries to tarnish Cassio's
 character when he says, "What, man! 'Tis a night of revels: the gallants
desire it" [Act II, Scene III]. Iago is able to make Cassio defy his own
reasoning and reluctantly take another drink. As a result of his devious
scheming, Iago's achieves his goal and Othello terminates Cassio as his
lieutenant. Iago successfully manipulates the people around him by
building a trust, a trust in which all of Iago's victims believe to be an
honest trust.

The friendship and honesty Iago falsely imposes upon Othello makes it
easy for Othello to never imagine the possibility that Iago has evil
motives. Othello holds Iago as his close friend and advisor. He believes
Iago to be a person, "of exceeding honesty, [who] knows all qualities,

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Shakespeare's Othello Essay - Honest Iago." 123HelpMe.com. 10 Dec 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=3514>.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

William Shakespeare 's Othello And The Good And Honest Iago Essay

- When looking at Iago his actions are very similar to those of Richard the third the reaction of the people around him is very much different as is the reaction by the audience reading this play. Where in the text we see the characters hate Richard in Othello we see Iago being constantly called ‘ the good and honest Iago’. Looking through text he is called good Iago four times and honest Iago five times, which when asking audiences is nine times to many. One of the most important thing is that Iago himself mentions this honest side of himself in his own speech in act three of the play....   [tags: Iago, Othello, Truth, Michael Cassio]

Research Papers
1116 words (3.2 pages)

Shakespeare's Othello - Honest Iago Essays

- Othello – Honest Iago Without a doubt, one of the main themes that runs throughout William Shakespeare’s tragic play, Othello, is that of honesty.  In the play, the most interesting character is Iago, who is commonly called and known as "Honest Iago."  However, this could not be farther from the truth.  Through some carefully thought-out words and actions, Iago is able to manipulate others to do things in a way that benefits and moves him closer to his own goals.  He is smart and an expert at judging the characters of others.  Because of this, Iago pushes everyone to their tragic end....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Othello]

Free Essays
785 words (2.2 pages)

Shakespeare's Othello Essay - Honest Iago

- Othello - Honest Iago The most interesting and round character in the tragic play Othello, by William Shakespeare, is "honest" Iago. Through carefully though-out words and actions, Iago manipulates others to do things in which he benefits. Iago is the main driving force in "Othello," pushing several characters towards their tragic end. Iago is not a traditional villain for he plays a unique and complex role. Unlike most villains in tragic plays, evidence of Iago's deception is not clearly visible....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Othello]

Free Essays
698 words (2 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]

Research Papers
1042 words (3 pages)

Essay on Othello And Iago By William Shakespeare

- Conflict is a negative effect that arises when people fail to communicate. It exists in workplaces, homes, and in many places where no interaction exist amid people of different background. In Shakespeare’s Othello, many conflicts and opposition happen among close friends and enemies which shapes the plot. This results from differences in culture and races of the characters within the play. The main conflicts in the play depicts between Othello and Iago and illustrates in various ways. A character such as Iago depends on double meanings, miscommunications, and indirect meanings to show the nature of conflict....   [tags: Othello, Iago, Michael Cassio, Emilia]

Research Papers
1615 words (4.6 pages)

The Motives of a Dishonest Man: Iago in Othello Essay

- One of the most outrageous literary vilians of all time is William Shakespeare’s Iago. Iago has been described with many words; villian, antagonist, cruel, selfish, malignant, chaotic, etc. What motivation could one have that would posses them to act in ways to be labeled as such. Are there even any motives present, or is it just the nature of the character that gives Iago his naturaly naughty personality. Many people see the main motive of Iago’s chaotic nature as the simple fact that he can do it, so he does....   [tags: Othello, characters, shakespeare, ]

Research Papers
1917 words (5.5 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]

Research Papers
1219 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on Iago of William Shakespeare's Othello

- Iago of William Shakespeare's Othello Who is Iago. Iago poisons people's thoughts, creating ideas in their heads without implicating himself. His first victim is Roderigo. Roderigo remarks, "That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse as if the strings were thine." [Act I, Scene I, Line 2] Throughout the play, Iago leads Roderigo, professing that ". . . I do hate [the Moor] as I do Hell pains." [Act I, Scene I, Line 152] He tells Roderigo to "Put money in thy purse" [Act I, Scene III, Line 328] so that he can win Desdemona with gifts....   [tags: Iago William shakespeare Othello Essays]

Research Papers
1540 words (4.4 pages)

The Complex Character of Iago of Shakespeare's Othello Essay

- The Complex Character of Iago of Othello      Iago can be clearly characterized as the villain in Shakespeare’s Othello.  The notion of the "honest" Iago does at times appear not to be a misnomer.  In this essay I shall attempt to explore the complexities contained within the character of Iago.   One of the most interesting questions that crops up is the one concerning Iago’s motives. What are his reasons to kill every major Venetian in Cyprus. Shakespeare seemingly sets the stage for Iago’s actions, giving him two distinct reasons to avenge Othello....   [tags: Othello essays]

Research Papers
1346 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on Iago Of Othello

- Iago of "Othello" What makes a good villain. What qualities make one villain stand out from another. Is it their demeanor, ruthlessness, or the methods that they employ to accomplish their tasks. In any case, a great villain must leave the reader with a respect for their methods and a question about their motives. In Shakespeare's Othello, there is one character in Iago that fulfills all of these qualifications. Iago is a wonderful villain because he gains other's trust, relentlessly takes advantage of his peers' flaws, and unapologetically causes the deaths of his counterparts in order to achieve his goals....   [tags: Character Analysis Othello Iago Shakespeare]

Research Papers
701 words (2 pages)

Related Searches

with a learned spirit" [Act III, Scene III]. Iago uses the trust Othello
has in him to turn Othello into a jealous man. The cleverness of Iago is
that he works upon one of the tragic flaws of Othello. Othello has the
tendency to take everything he is told at face value without questioning
the circumstances. Othello has no reason to doubt these accusations for
the "honest" Iago has to be telling him the truth. Iago is successful at
turning Othello against his own wife. Towards the end of Act IV, Iago's
influence can be seen in the conversation between Othello and his wife,
Desdemona. Othello sets a trap  for his wife when he asks, "Lend me thy
handkerchief" [Act IV, Scene III]. Iago creates the impression that
Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio in order to stir the jealousy
within Othello. Iago's influence upon Othello causes him to transform
from a flawless, military leader to a man driven to murder.

In Shakespeare's "Othello," Iago carefully and masterfully entraps the
other characters satisfying his appetite for revenge. Through deception,
Iago creates the appearance of good, which ultimately fools the people
around him into thinking he is loyal and honest. While simultaneously
implanting images into the head of Othello, through suggestions to both
Cassio and Roderigo, Iago causes the downfall of them all. As an
outsider, the audience views Iago's declarations to one character in
which he deceives another character. The basis of Iago's success comes
from the carefully built trust with individual characters. It is a trust
from "honest" Iago that his so-called friends do not dare doubt.
Return to 123HelpMe.com