Iago Narcissism In Othello

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How far would you go to get what you want? Othello, by William Shakespeare is connected with one of, if not the most notorious villain in all of Shakespeare’s plays. Iago stops at nothing to complete his voracious desire to attain revenge. He takes advantage of innocent people by smiling in their face, yet stabbing them in the back with his scheming manuevers. In his own words Iago states, “I am not what I am”, which demonstrates self-acknowledgment of his masquerade (Bevington, 2014, 1.1.67). Iago is an abusive, sexist, and racist rogue full of jealousy and rage. His demented tendencies generated by jealously relentlessly pursue vengeance against anyone he feels may have done him wrong. Iago’s delusional conceptions of reality combined …show more content…
He portrays the mentality of falling victim to the other characters, as well as emphasizes this thought to the audience. The audience is given a glimpse inside the evil malevolent man Iago truly exemplifies. The vindictive ways of Iago are obvious throughout his narcissistic ways. These narcissistic ways include false self and true self, as well as triangulation. In other words, Iago represents a persona that is far from his reality, and he plays upon the emotions of others by insinuating love triangles. His insinuations play upon the emotions of others, which is a narcissist way of getting into the mindset of his victim. Iago’s narcissistic traits are highlighted by the methods he uses to seek out his revenge. It is those narcissistic traits that leave Iago with the “victim syndrome”. Narcissists live with a delusional mindset of “greater than others”. Iago absolutely falls into the role of a narcissist. Iago deems Othello of having done him wrong when overlooking him for the lieutenant position. He views Michael Cassio as inexperienced and inferior (Jacobsen, 2009). Iago says, “One Michael Cassio, a Florentine … that never set a squadron in the field, nor the division of a battle knows … this countercaster” (Bevington, 2014, 1.1.21-32). In feeling he has been done wrong, Iago’s narcissistic need to feel superior infuriates him. This betrayal alone is cause enough for …show more content…
One may consider Iago to be a complex character; however, his character is one of simplicity. Iago’s villainy is represented extensively through deception and manipulation, his narcissistic mentality, and the depth of his maliciously brilliant mind. While they can all be demonstrated individually, Iago demonstrates how they are in fact intertwined and incite one another. Surprisingly Iago gave several depictions as to why he is what he is; however, the confusion to his character still is a mystery and controversy today. Iago’s actions seem to come from an underlying reason; some say Othello, some say Desdemona, and others say he is the purest evil. However, they all seem to stem from a feeling of inadequacy (Zender, 1994). Iago ultimately is evil for the sake of being evil. He plays the victim without proper evidence or discussion. He seeks not to find understanding or truth, but only to ignite treachery and turmoil in the lives of the innocent. In Iago’s final passage he says, “Demand me nothing. What you know, you know. From this time forth I never will speak word” (Bevington, 2014, 5.2.311-312). In other words, he has no desire to explain himself because he owes no explanation. This speaks true to his Machiavelli character complex. Iago began evil, is evil, and ended

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