Iago Psychopath Analysis

Decent Essays
In Shakespeare’s play Othello, the character Iago is a psychopath. This can be determined by the number of characteristics he shares with those who are clinically defined as psychopaths. Firstly, Iago is extremely manipulative, finding every way possible to use and twist people to his own advantage. He is also very selfish-helping and caring only about himself. Most importantly, Iago’s aptitude for insincere speech is his main asset, as he craftily uses it in every situation. To understand why Iago is truly a psychopath, it is first necessary to look at how manipulative he is. Iago’s use of manipulation is apparent throughout the play to the audience; but because of excessive planning and plotting he is able to hide it from the other characters. …show more content…
Selfishness is a character trait shared by other characters in the play , but can even come close to the selfishness that Iago holds. One of the first indicators is that Iago, who made an elaborate plot to ruin Othello’s life, has never shown a true motive. Although having excuses, Iago never specifies a motive for his “monstrous plan” and the further he goes , the more it seems that Iago is doing this for his own pleasure. When he is finally able to convince Othello that Cassio and Desdemona have had an affair, Othello is so shocked he falls to the ground. Iago proud of his lies and how well Othello is reacting to them, is happy and wants his “...medicine...”(4.1.44) to “work on “(4.1.43). This shows that even though Iago has already done so much, he can never be satisfied with other people 's misery and is always craving more. He completely destroys Othello’s character because he relishes in being evil and does not care how many people he harms in the process due to his selfish behaviour. Iago is also very good at recognising when people can be beneficial to him and how he can use them for his own advantage. When Iago tries to explain to Roderigo why he must pretend to follow Othello, Roderigo doesn’t really understand. Iago does not think like everyone, he is a psychopath and unable to really understand how to form proper relationships with people, his focus is only himself . …show more content…
His insincere ‘sincerity’ and his ability to cleverly hide the truth some of his of his main assets that eventually lead to the success of his plan. He is not only is able to make everyone like him, but his lies lead others to believe that he is noble and honest. Iago, after conjuring up his plan, knows that to convince Othello he must take baby steps and start with smaller lies, until Othello blindly follows him. He even compares himself with the devil(s) and knows that when they try to convince people to do the “blackest sins” (2.3. 322), “they do suggest at first with heavenly shows” (2.3.323). Unlike most people who try to copy good role models, Iago is very well on the way to becoming a devil himself. His knack for making up lies and feeling no remorse is evidence that Iago is a psychopath who does not have a conscience. Iago’s insincerity exceeds his harmful lies and clever deceit of almost all the characters , including his many faces, leaves the audience wondering if he even knew who he really was. From the very beginning, it is obvious that Iago should not be trusted, from the time he was causing trouble for Othello and Desdemona with Brabantio, acting too chummy with Roderigo and hiding his true motives for everything from everyone. Iago will never be able to truly present himself to anyone for even he knows that he “... is not what he

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Iago’s multiple soliloquy reveals his devious nature and his ability to manipulate others. It also reveals his sad state and gives the audience a reason for his evil nature. This allows the audience to sympathize and even understand why he takes these actions. A Renaissance tragedy also shows the issue of circumstance causing the ultimate conflict in the work. They also reveal how much power Iago has over everyone around him due to his honest outward appearance.…

    • 814 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    After Iago made just a dream look very suspicious, this put everything in place for Othello. After this so called dream, Othello believed Desdemona actually slept with Cassio. This dream was the missing ingredient to implant Othello’s want to kill Cassio and Desdemona. His want for revenge stays with him for the rest of the play and this is his tragic flaw. According to Bloom, “Othello’s great weakness, as he understands it, is precisely that he does not…

    • 1643 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    By: Saidvij Portrayal of Iago Shakespeare’s Othello portrays Iago as a very cunning and evil mastermind next to only the devil himself. Iago not only destroys characters’ lives for fun, but also deceives them to gain self-righteous goals. Iago manipulates everyone but especially the general of Venice, Othello. Iago’s deception is more than what would be seen as normal. Iago is a selfish and manipulative person able to trick others, but failure is the logical consequence under his own over-confidence.…

    • 953 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Fortunato starts to slowly realize what is happening and calls out “For the love of God, Montresor!” (Poe) but in a very murderous and sick way Montresor only replies with “‘Yes,’ I said, ‘for the love of God!’” (Poe) and continues to wall up his enemy. During all the time he is tricking Fortunato down into the solitude of the catacombs he is playing a sick joke. This is all the evidence needed to prove the point that Montresor is a psychopath with a need to cause harm to others and he does this with pleasure. When combined, all the evidence shows that Montresor is not just a horrible man but also a true psychopath. Montresor tells the story of dark revenge and evil intentions in his own words and shows it through his own thoughts.…

    • 795 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    “You cannot believe a liar even when he tells the truth”(Aesop’s Fables) is a powerful quote since liar’s tend to be able to tell the truth yet still be able to twist it enough to their advantage. In the play Othello, we encounter a fellow named Iago who spins a web of lies that hurts everyone in the process. While able to manipulate multiple people at a time, Iago will end up taking what makes these three characters so noble into their downfall is inevitable. Husband turned against wife, friends turned against friends, all at the hands of one man. In the play Othello, Iago dissembles uses both the truth and lies to turn everyone’s good qualities against them.…

    • 1557 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The conflict between Iago and the audience serves to characterize Iago: the words that Iago says have a different meaning because the viewers know the truth. So, when Iago says that he is “[Othello’s] own for ever,” it is a lie (546). He is too effective at hiding his lies from the rest of the characters. There is no more sympathy that the audience can feel for this character, because of just how often he lies even while seeing the…

    • 1011 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In the final analysis, Iago is more narcissistic which is more evil, according to the definition. Furthermore, narcissism can lead to being deceitful and use others without having any remorse. Along with Iago’s selfish behaviour, he was also very manipulative to get what he desired. Near the beginning of the book, Iago finds out that Roderigo is deeply in love with Desdemona and would do anything to get her back. He knows this and tricks Roderigo into thinking that Iago can bring her back.…

    • 1183 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Iago is most certainly one of the most complex and devious villains of all time, and his innate ability to cover his tracks during the execution of his plan raises many more thought provoking questions about his character and humanity as a whole. Is it possible that Shakespeare’s interpretation of Iago was meant to warn viewers about psychopaths lurking in society? It is entirely possible that his play was created not just for entertainment, but for moral awareness. Each character was killed because they placed trust in a person who conspired against them. A man once said “Be careful who you trust.…

    • 1259 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In Kenneth Gross’ article “Slander and Skepticism in Othello” Gross discusses the use of deceit and lies throughout the play. Iago is one of the main topics discussed in this article and is even stated to be “committed” to the “suspicions” he makes the other characters think but without “hidden meanings” or using “double entendres” (Gross 824). This observation shows Iago’s inability to stop his deceits because he is so dedicated and invested in his meddling. The observation also points out that Iago uses opportunities instead of twisting a story. Iago relies on the other characters to have his deceits come together and because the other characters are so gullible and naïve Iago gets wrapped in his fun and forgets that he needs to stop.…

    • 1913 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This story literally has so many examples of Iago lying to everybody by his actions. Has he always been like this or is he like the devil once a good man but became corrupted by power and jealousy, this is where the story starts off, with him being this manipulative figure that everybody thinks is still honest, but they need to think again. The next tool the puppeteer has in his arsenal is manipulation. He has no chill when it comes to manipulating people. Throughout the book people literally do exactly what he envisions or what he says without them even knowing.…

    • 1593 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays