Iago's Deception In Othello

Good 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.

Iago is out for revenge but this can only be accomplished through manipulation. Iago has known to be very trustworthy since he is deceiving everyone. Everyone refers to Iago as “honest Iago”, however , that is the furthest personality
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Iago hints to Othello about the reason he cannot tell his thoughts “the immediate jewel of their souls./Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;/'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;”(III/iii/156-158). Many of the literary devices Shakespeare uses are very important for the analogy Iago’s is giving to Othello. The jewels are used as a metaphor from reputation and its importance. Shakespeare adds a hyperbole of thousands is to show just how common money is to everyone, but a reputation is rare. A paradox is occurring between a purse, something of value, and trash is essentially worthless. However, Shakespeare uses this cleverly to represent the worthlessness of a purse. Another deceptive act by Iago was when he revealed his thoughts to Othello “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;/It is the green-ey'd monster, which doth mock/The meat it feeds on.”. Shakespeare uses the colour of green to represent jealousy. Using green for jealousy was not uncommon since it was used even before Shakespeare. Geoffrey Chaucer used the phrase “green with envy” to represent envy with the colour of green. There is personification of jealously being a monster that is also green eyed. This quote is ironic since Shakespeare made Iago’s motivation for revenge to be jealous, but here he made Iago state that jealousy is bad. Iago uses his great skill of deception …show more content…
Iago, near the end of the play, starts to lack in plans since he becomes so filled with his pride. Iago convinces Roderigo to try again to kill Cassio when he says“wherein none can be so determinate as the removing of Cassio” (IV,ii,225-226). However, Cassio does not die which inevitably starts to uncover Iago’s plan. Shakespeare shows that even though Iago made a good plan, he cannot overcome his own over-confidence. Once again Iago shows his over confidence when he commands Emilia “What, are you mad? I charge you get you home.”(V,ii,192). Throughout his magnificent plan, he forgot one big weakness, Emilia, since she is the only one to know how Iago was able to manipulate Othello. Shakespeare represents the human trait of over-confidence in Iago as all humans are sometime too confidence allowing them to overlook the most basic of mistakes. Eventually Iago realizes this as he states he final words “From this time forth I never will speak word.”(V,ii,301). Shakespeare adds this final line to Iago as to show the eternal and furious evil that still lies in Iago. Even though he got caught, Iago was able to reflect and think about his evil deeds. Shakespeare shows the human nature of overconfidence in Iago where even in dire moments it will always

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