Essay on Iago in William Shakespeare's Othello

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Iago in William Shakespeare's Othello

Iago has many motives for destroying the other characters in the play. One of these is jealousy. Iago is jealous of Othello, Desdemona, Cassio and even his own wife, Emilia. He is jealous of Othello for many reasons. Iago wants the power and the respect that Othello has. We see this in Act 2 scene 1 where Iago says ‘the moor- howbeit I endure him not- is of a constant, loving, noble nature’ which hints that he wants what Othello has as they are both opposites and these attributes may be the ones he will need to gain power. Iago is jealous of Othello’s marriage with the senator’s daughter as it gives Othello even more power and an attractive wife- he envies
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In Act 2 scene 1, we see that Iago has misogynistic views on women when he states ‘you are pictures out of doors… in your beds’ which suggests he believes women are only sex objects. Iago is also jealous of Desdemona, because they are exact opposites and he desires what he lacks. We can tell that they are opposites as Desdemona is described as ‘divine’ and ‘perfection’ whereas Iago associates himself with the devil by saying ‘when devils will the blackest sins put on, they do suggest at first with heavenly shows as I do now.’ Iago is extremely jealous of Cassio too. He mentions that Cassio is ‘a proper man’ which hints that Iago is envious of his looks and luck with women. At the beginning of the play, Iago tells Roderigo ‘three great ones of the city, in personal suit to make me his lieutenant, off- capped to him; and by the faith of man, I know my price, I am worth no worse a place’ which shows us how much he wants the job and how confident he is that he will get it. When Cassio gets the job instead it naturally makes Iago jealous and this jealousy is detected when Iago describes Cassio as a ‘great arithmetician’ a ‘Florentine’ and someone ‘that never set a squadron in the field’ which all put Cassio down as a soldier, telling us that Iago thinks Cassio is not right for the job. This makes Iago jealous - he wants the job that Cassio got by ‘letter and

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