Through some carefully thought-out words and actions, Iago is able to manipulate others to do things in a way that benefits him and moves him closer toward his objectives. Iago is not like those men who loyally serve their masters all their lives and then are fired when they're too old to work. "Whip me such honest knaves" (1.1.49), Iago contemptuously exclaims. When Iago explains to Roderigo that he hates Othello, Roderigo wonders why Iago is still working for Othello. Iago then goes on to explain that he's a hypocrite, who is only pretending to be loyal to Othello. Iago seems to do a great deal of character analysis and exposition for the audience; here, he divulges his purpose in serving Othello, and the kind of man he is when he says, "I am not what I am.". Appearance vs. reality is a crucial theme in Iago's speeches in act 1 scene one. Iago is cunning, untrustworthy, selfish, and plotting. He uses these traits to his advantage by slowly planning his own triumph while watching the fall of others. It is this that is Iago's motivation, the ultimate defeat of good by evil. Iago then foreshadows his plans for Othello to Roderigo, "O, sir, content you. / I follow him to serve my turn upon him (Act I, Scene I)". Iago already realizes that Othello thinks about him as an honest man. This looks like just the beginning of Iago's mischievous schemes.
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