Iago

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“Psychologically Iago is a slighted man, powerfully possessed by hatred against a master who (as he thinks) has kept him down, and by envy for a man he despises’ who has been promoted over him” Is this statement true? Is Iago a slighted man? Is he possessed by hatred for Othello? Yes, he is. Iago is consumed with envy and hatred. He plans to do anything in order to get revenge but it is not as though Iago has to push his conscience away in order to commit the sins he did. Iago simply has no conscience.

Our first impression of Iago is that he appears to be pure evil. When Iago explains to Roderigo that he hates Othello and is only pretending to be loyal to him we see how truly amoral he is. Iago implies that he is proud of his hate for Othello and is willing to deceive and kill the people close to him in order to get his way. The characters in the play believe that Iago is a friendly and “honest man, but we, as the audience are aware of Iago’s plans, shown to us through soliloquies and even though we are aware of this, we are also drawn to like him.” In a way Iago can also be viewed as the devil, in the sense that despite his evil plans he still makes us like him, as the devil makes many evil acts appealing to us.

Iago obviously has a goal to get rid of Desdemona and Cassio but it appears that he does not have a specific plan. Fortune is in Iago’s favour, but eventually it betrays him. This happens when Emilia betrays Iago in the bedroom after Desdemona is killed. It appears that there is not a very strong tie of love between the husband and wife. Emilia is Iago’s tool and essentially his attitude towards her exposes his plan. When Emilia gave Iago the handkerchief her loyalties were to Iago but as she puts the pieces of Iago’s plan together in her mind she realises, through her opinions of men that her loyalty is not to Iago or any man but to the facts. By knowing the truth and explaining it to the people...
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