Iago's Motivation in William Shakespeare's Othello
The play Othello is set in Venice and written by William Shakespeare.
The Elizabethans were not precise in their use of the term 'moor'.
Iago begins the play discontented. He believes that he should have got
the job of lieutenant but it goes to an "inexperienced" Michael
Cassio. Cassio only knows war from a book, but Iago is cross at
Othello for choosing Cassio not him.
Iago is a very clever person but with that power, he uses that power
for evil acts. This act is, taking revenge on Othello and mentally
changes peoples view and the way they think. He never carries out the
act but he gets other people to do it. He is motivated by one main
cause. This is from within him-self.
"I hate the moor, AND it is thought abroad that twist my sheets he has
done my office". He does not give a reason but says "and" not because.
The motivation is there before and there is a bit of racism, jealousy
and he enjoys tricking people.
Iago knows Roderigo is in love with Desdemona and figures that he
would do anything to have her as his own. Iago says about Roderigo,
"Thus do I ever make my fool my purse."
By playing on his hopes, Iago is able to swindle money and jewels from
Roderigo, making himself a substantial profit.
Iago feels that Othello has slept with his wife Emila, "leapt into his
seat", he wants revenge for this too, "not out of absolute lust", but
so he can get back at Othello. He wants to sleep with Desdemona for
revenge not just for pleasure.
Iago's evil has infiltrated Othello's soul and has induced him, as
Iago had hoped.
"I follow him to serve my turn upon him". Iago want to turn virtue
into a pitch. He wants to poison Brabantio.
This is Iago's first soliloquy. Iago is arrogant and takes pleasure in
showing his manipulative skills.
Cassio takes hold of Desdemona's hand just before the arrival of
Othello, Iago says, "with a little a web as this will ensure as great
a fly as Cassio" his cunning and craftiness make him a frightening
Iago takes pleasure in addressing the audience. He pretends to be
honest. He is able to paint a picture of himself as an honest man. He