Iago The Con From Othello Essay

866 words - 3 pages

OthelloPerhaps the most interesting and exotic character in the tragic play 'Othello,'by William Shakespeare, is 'Honest' Iago. Through some carefully thought-outwords and actions, Iago is able to manipulate others to do things in a way thatbenefits him and moves him closer toward his goals. He is the main drivingforce in this play, pushing Othello and everyone else towards their tragicend.Iago is not your ordinary villain. The role he plays is rather uniqueand complex, far from what one might expect. Iago is smart. He is an expertjudge of people and their characters and uses this to his advantage. Forexample, he knows Roderigo is in love with Desdemona and figures that hewould do anything to have her as his own. Iago says about Roderigo, 'Thusdo I ever make my fool my purse.' [Act I, Scene III, Line 355] By playingon his hopes, Iago is able to swindle money and jewels from Roderigo, makinghimself a substantial profit, while using Roderigo to forward his othergoals. He also thinks quick on his feet and is able to improvise wheneversomething unexpected occurs. When Cassio takes hold of Desdemona's handbefore the arrival of the Moor Othello, Iago says, 'With as little a webas this will I ensnare as great a fly as Cassio.' [Act II, Scene I, Line 163]His cunning and craftiness make him a truly dastardly villain indeed.Being as smart as he is, Iago is quick to recognize the advantages of trustand uses it as a tool to forward his purposes. Throughout the story he iscommonly known as, and commonly called, 'Honest Iago.' He even says ofhimself, 'I am an honest man....' [Act II, Scene III, Line 245] Trust isa very powerful emotion that is easily abused. Othello, 'holds [him]well;/The better shall [Iago's] purpose work on him.' [pg. 1244, Line 362]Iago is a master of abuse in this case turning people's trust in him intotools to forward his own goals. His 'med'cine works! Thus credulous foolsare caught....' [pg. 1284, Line 44] Iago slowly poisons people's thoughts,creating ideas in their heads without implicating himself. 'And what's hethen that says I play the villain, when this advice is free I give, andhonest,' [Act II, Scene III, Line 299] says Iago, the master of deception.And thus, people rarely stop to consider the possibility that old Iago couldbe deceiving them or manipulating them, after all, he is 'Honest Iago.'Iago makes a fool out of Roderigo. In fact, the play starts out withIago having already taken advantage of him. Roderigo remarks, 'That thou,Iago, who hast had my purse as if the strings were thine.' [Act...

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