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Iago's Manipulation In William Shakespeare's Othello

1152 words - 5 pages

In William Shakespeare's play, Othello, Iago is a malicious manipulator who acts out without true motives, but uses them as excuses. Iago is great at saying the right things to people, deceiving them to get the response he wants. He never acts upon his plan, yet he is still involved through creating lies and providing misleading situations. Iago is jealous of Cassio because he was not chosen as lieutenant, Cassio was. He conceals his animosity of Othello to plot vengeance, a brilliant, thought out scheme to exploit his master. Iago is egotistical as he creates jealousy in other characters to make them feel as he does. He is blinded by his ego, envy and anger, his main goal is for everyone to ...view middle of the document...

i.12). Iago has a massive ego and sometimes overestimates, his own worth. He is confused why Othello would choose a man who knows more about numbers than about the battlefield, clearly Othello must be out of his mind to not choose him. In fact, Iago does not make a scene about how he feels, he must seem to love and obey Othello, the moor, to use him to his advantage. Thereby revenging himself upon the man who chose Cassio over him. Iago’s rejection of lieutenant gives him a justifiable reason for his hatred against Othello. Ideally, there is not a certain motivation for trying to destroy Othello, but the fact he is a narcissistic individual who wants others to feel the misery he feels. Iago’s goal is not to be compassionate nor beneficial towards Othello, but to destroy his reputation.
Iago’s next motive becomes present in Act One, scene three when he feels Othello is dishonest and secretly sleeping with Iago’s wife, Emilia. Iago says, “I hate the Moor,/ And it is thought abroad that ‘twixt my sheets/ He’s done my office (I.iii.377-379). “My office” refers to Iago’s marital duties as a husband, to have sex with his wife. Iago obviously despises Othello and feels deep hatred towards him due to a rumor that he slept with his wife. Although it may not be true, Iago takes advantage of the situation to create a mischievous plan to make Othello feel the way he is feeling, betrayed and heartbroken. Iago then manipulates Othello into believing his wife, Desdemona, is having an affair with Cassio. Othello is overcome by rage and jealousy which later leads him to act upon it and killing his beloved Desdemona. Throughout the play, Iago’s soliloquies reveal to the audience what he does not share with the other characters. At the end of Act II, scene one, Iago repeats the real reason to plot against Othello:
For that I do suspect the lusty Moor/ Hath leaped into my seat. The thought whereof/ Doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards,/ And nothing can or shall content my soul/ Till I am even with him, wife for wife (II.i.289-293).
He loves Desdemona simply not out of lust, but using her as a key component for his revenge. Iago uses his manipulation to his advantage by misleading someone in a situation, specifically...

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