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Topics: Othello, Iago / Pages: 4 (761 words) / Published: Nov 13th, 2013
A remorseless and cruel man with a heart of stone manipulates good natured people into becoming insane. Iago, the puppet master, creates madness throughout the entire novel. He convicted many persuasive scandals in order to satisfy no one but himself. Madness, Manipulation, and Mendacious are some qualities to describe the main antagonist, Iago, in the play “Othello,” by William Shakespeare. Iagos madness plays a very important role in this play, in fact if it weren’t for Iago’s madness and manipulations the play wouldn’t even have a plot. In this play, Othello passed the lieutenancy over Iago to Cassio. This makes Iago very, very angry, because he thinks that he is the better man for the job. Iago then posseses an antipathy toward Othello. This is when Iago decides he is going to make all hell break loose. Iago’s first act of madness and delusion begins in Act 3. Iago says, “As, I confess, it is my natures plague To spy into abuses, and oft my jealousy shapes faults that are not.” In this line, Iago is admitting that his jealousy often gets the best of him and he makes up things that are not true at all. This would explain why Iago is persuading Othello to believe that his extremely steadfast wife, Desdemona, is cheating on him with Cassio. Iago got jealous that Othello picked Cassio for lieutenancy over him. In Iagos mind, by making up a lie about Desdemona cheating on Othello with Cassio makes perfect sense to him. Iago thinks he is simply getting revenge on Othello for not picking him for the job. Therefore Iago is going to persuade Othello into disliking Cassio so he can possibly get his job. Even though in a normal functioning mind that makes no sense to sabotage a relationship, Iago will do whatever it takes to satisfy himself. Iago’s second act of madness and delusion is when he talks to himself throughout the play and tells himself what he is to do. In Act 3 Scene 3 Iago begins talking to himself about Othello’s handkerchief. Iago says, “I will in Cassios lodging lose this napkin. And let him find it.” This is an example of madness because Iago is speaking out loud talking to himself. He talks to himself like he is telling another person what to do. Iago talks to himself again throughout this scene and says, “Look where he comes, Not poppy nor mandragora. Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep which thou owedst yesterday.” These quotes are examples of madness because Iago is talking himself through on his plans for taking down Othello and Cassio. Normal people do not talk to themselves on how they plan on seeking revenge. You also have to keep in mind that Iago is not only talking to himself. He is creating a plan to get Cassio in trouble with Othello; therefore he is starting more drama, and creating more lies. Iagos last act of madness and delusion is the fact that he is responsible for the death of Desdemona, Othello, Emilia, Roderigo, Barbantio and himself. At the end of the play the truth comes out and everyone figures out that everything that Iago has been saying has been a complete lie. Iago is so consumed by his own lies that he believes himself. Iago cannot even give Othello a reason why he manipulated him into believing Desdemona cheated on him. Iago is in such madness that he doesn’t even have any remorse. Iago is responsible for the death of everyone in this play. His madness went so far that innocent people had to die. Even when people were dead Iago did not stop. Iagos madness created the entire plot in this play. Overall Iagos madness ruined everyone’s life in this play. Iago did not care about anyone but himself. There was never an ending point for his manipulations. Iago never stopped. Even if it meant people had to die, he had to get what he wanted. Iagos madness consumed the entire play; there was never a time where he was truthful. I think Iago was so self-centered and rouge because he wasn’t human. He was the devil. When Othello went to stab him Iago said, “I bleed sir but not killed.” This could indicate that Iago was the devil or an evil spirit that possessed someone’s body. Iago is a complex character who can never be fully understood. He even says "I know not what I am."

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