Othello - Iago Character Analysis

Topics: Othello, Iago, Michael Cassio Pages: 2 (778 words) Published: March 25, 2013
Iago, in Shakespeare's Othello, is a deceiving character because he tells lies in order to get what he wants. He interacts with people only to manipulate them, but most importantly he never reveals his true feelings or motives. Iago might say things that suggest what his motive is, but he soon contradicts himself with another suggestion making it extremely difficult to understand him. Although Iago's true motives cannot be determined, some motives could be jealousy, the enjoyment of seeing people suffer, or power. Iago's jealous of Othello and Cassio because he thinks that both of them slept with his wife, Emilia. In Iago's first soliloquy at the end of act 1, Iago says that Othello might have slept with his wife and even though this is a rumor, he says that he will believe it. Then in his second soliloquy at the end of act 2, scene 1, Iago reiterates and once again says that Othello slept with his wife, the only difference is that now he thinks Cassio has slept with his wife too because he believes that Cassio is a "proper man" and a playboy. So, this seems to be a driving force for Iago to ruin Othello and Cassio.

Iago's jealousy towards Othello quickly turns into a jealousy toward Cassio too because Othello appointed Cassio as lieutenant instead of Iago. Iago believes that he should be lieutenant because he has fought by Othello's side in battles and because he has actual war experience, whereas Cassio learned all of his tactics from books. So, he is jealous because he didn't get the job, but he is angry because he thinks that Othello made Cassio his lieutenant because Cassio helped Othello marry Desdemona. Iago doesn't know anything about proportion, meaning that if he has been wronged he will bring justice to himself by giving the culprit a punishment that doesn't match the crime. In this case, Iago wasn't appointed as lieutenant; therefore, he wants to torture Othello and Cassio mentally and then kill them. This could be the result of his hatred and...
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