Homosexuality In Othello

994 Words 4 Pages
In William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Othello the Moor of Venice Shakespeare leaves the character of Iago’s sexuality to be questioned. Although Iago has a wife, he drops slight hints throughout the play that he has homosexual thoughts or feelings toward other characters, but he uses his position in the military and his fear to suppress these feelings. These “hints” are shown through his wildly questionable story about Michael Cassio, his word choice when describing Othello, and his discourse with Roderigo. This means an actor that plays Iago has to choose whether to portray Iago as homosexual, straight, or both. Through Iago’s story of Cassio’s dream, Shakespeare not-so-slyly hints that Iago has some homesexual thoughts. While this event …show more content…
After dismissing Roderigo and assuring him that his plan will work, he describes Othello, “I endure him not,/ [Othello] is of a constant, loving, and noble nature”(2.3.285-286). Phrase “I endure him not” shows Iago fighting his homosexual feelings toward Othello, essentially blaming him for the thoughts in his head. “Loving, and noble nature” points to Iago having observed Othello for a long time and he is jealous that Othello is pointing his love to Desdemona instead of him. After “proving” to Othello that Desdemona is unfaithful, Iago gets promoted. In his most grateful tone, “I am your own forever”(3.3.480). This phrase says Othello somewhat owns Iago, and it sounds like a wedding vow or a promise to always love him, furthering the question of whether Iago is gay. Richard Hornby states the hardest problem for modern actors when playing Iago is to choose of what sexuality he is and what his true motivation is, “Iago’s motivation was to make him gay, in love with Othello”. Shakespeare brings to light the possibility that Iago’s motivation for the plan was the idea of being closer to …show more content…
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