Iago Is Not Evil

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To be evil, villainous or Satan-like, is to state that one does hurtful things to other citizens for the pure enjoyment of themselves. Hitler, Stalin and Napoleon are all leaders, who undoubtedly can be stated as evil. In William Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello, the character Iago is considered evil. It is argued though that he is not evil, just simply a human. Iago throughout the play becomes insecure over his decline in power leading him to become jealous and get revenge on those who contributed to this feeling of self-doubt. Though Iago at times is satisfied with the way he treats others, his motives are humanistic and the way he deals with his envy for others makes him one of the manliest men in William Shakespeare’s Othello. The feeling of insecurity in Iago’s character is derived from the doubt of his relationships with both his wife and social mates. Iago knows his place and feels worried about not being put up to his full potential: “I know my price, I am worth no self-pity.” (I.i.12).This self-doubt is blamed on Othello after he gives a Lieutenant Job to Cassio instead of Iago. After news broke about Cassio’s new job, Iago felt shame be brought upon him. Iago’s character was made to feel like his life was not going as he planned by not moving up in military ranks. Thus, Iago, like anyone who did not get the job they have been working hard for, questions why and in this case rebels against the cause of it. Shakespeare throughout the play builds on the lack of relationship Iago and his wife Emilia have, when rumors start to spread that Emilia cheated on Iago, his belief of his role in their relationship declines. This rumor has Iago feeling insecure about how is unable to control his wives lust and the overall lack of control he has over her making him feel powerless in the marriage: “For I do suspect the lusty Moor/Hath leap’d into my seat ”(II.i.283-284). Shakespeare’s depiction of his character, Iago, makes apparent the jealousy Iago has over feeling...
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