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Iago The Machiavellian In Othello Essay

1405 words - 6 pages

Throughout history, there have been many human beings whom have been seen as either a hero or a villain. In their childhood, these people must had obstacles that were in their way, causing each individual to either work harder or give up. People, however; must understand that each individual has a potential in achieving their goals, but if one is mistreated or deceived due to jealousy, resentment, hatred, or ambition, it can lead to many catastrophic events. People who have pride and arrogance do not want to have equals, rather they want to see their victims suffer. These people have no difficulty in achieving their goals due to the fact that their victims have too innocent a nature to suspect the nefarious motives of their enemies. In this tragedy, Othello, Shakespeare has created a villain who behaves in this manner. Iago’s hatred, method of revenge, and vengeful hatred are the reasons of the lives lost in this play and the reasons that lead to Iago’s downfall.

Iago’s hatred of Othello and Cassio causes him to seek revenge and he is able to succeed because his victims are too innocent to suspect him. Iago is a Machiavellian Shakespearean character who cunningly convinces his victims of his full moral support and proves his innocence in a way that his victims do not suspect him. When Cassio finishes his conversation with Desdemona about how he will not have his job back, Iago unfolds his mischievous plan against Desdemona when he says that, “so will I turn her virtue into pitch, And out of her own goodness make the net that shall enmesh them all” (Shakespeare, 49). Iago plans to destroy Othello and Desdemona’s marriage by using Desdemona’s kindness toward Cassio against her and make her look unfaithful in front of her noble husband. Similarly, another person who falls into Iago’s trap is Cassio who considers Iago a dear and honest friend. When Iago notices Cassio warmly welcoming Desdemona to Cyprus, Iago says in his soliloquy that, “with as little web as this will I ensure as great a fly as Cassio” (Shakespeare, 33). Since Desdemona’s arrival excites makes Cassio, Iago plans to turn Cassio’s friendly gesture towards Desdemona into something sexual. With Cassio’s overwhelming joy at Desdemona’s arrival, Cassio is going to be a fly in Iago’s web of lies. Iago’s biggest prey, however; is Othello whom trusts Iago blindly. Iago in another soliloquy says that, “for I fear Cassio with my night-cap too. Make the Moor thank me, love me, and reward me for making him egregiously an ass, and practising upon his peace and quiet, even to madness” (Shakespeare, 37). In other words, Iago feels insecure about his wife being close to Cassio, so he plans to win Othello’s confidence by exposing Cassio and Desdemona’s affair. This act in turn will make Iago look trustworthy, but he is only doing this jut to stab Othello in the back. Iago executes his revenge plan so brilliantly and cunningly that none of his victims suspect him, instead they trust him blindly.
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