Iago Character Analysis

Topics: Othello, Iago, William Shakespeare Pages: 3 (1131 words) Published: March 6, 2006
William Shakespeare's Othello is a play that mostly revolves around jealousy, trust and revenge. Throughout most of Shakespeare's plays, evil characters are not uncommon, but in my own opinion, Iago has to be one of – if not the most - interesting. Even though Iago might be described by some as being just "pure evil" or even "intolerable", the truth still remains that people will read deeper into the play just to see what Iago will do next. Through his words and actions, which are carefully thought out, Iago is able to manipulate others for his personal benefit. Not only that, but he also manipulates people to get him closer to his goals. He is no doubt the driving force of the play, pushing Othello and everyone else towards the tragic ending.

Iago is one of Shakespeare's greatest villains. At first glance, Iago may not seem all that evil, but as the play goes on, you can see clearly that this is not the case. When Iago says, "I am not what I am" (1.1, 64), I don't think it can be explained any better because he definitely is not what he seems. Everyone seems to think Iago is such an honest guy, but this could not be further from the truth. He is not the typical villain that you might see in a story or play. The role he plays is very unique and complex, which is far from what people would normally expect from a villain. Not only is he very smart, but he is also pretty much an expert at judging the character of people around him, and that is how he picks out one of his victims, Cassio.

Cassio, who Iago feels is "ignorant" and "ill suited", is given the position of Lieutenant that Iago so much desires. After hearing of this, Iago is filled with jealousy and envy and plots to steal the position, which he feels is rightfully his. When Iago says "I know my price; I am worth no worse a place." (1.1, 11), you know he will do whatever he has to do in order to gain the position as Lieutenant. He deceives, kills, steals and stops at nothing just to get what...

Cited: Othello, William Shakespeare,
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