Iago's Reason In Othello

Powerful Essays
Many of the traits that have Shakespeare gives the characters have negative connotations that show the flaw in human beings like greed,jealousy, and anger which then motivates the villains, and even our main heros, to try and “change destiny” by manipulating situations to change the outcome. This can be seen in Othello where it is mentioned several times the possible reasons as to why Iago is doing what he is. While we are “Hunting about for [his] motives,” (Rosenberg 150) we as readers can’t help but wonder if his real reason is not even mentioned or if he doesn’t have justification for any of it, but is going off of what he believes to be true, not that actual truth. Because there is no justification, it is clear that “Iago was really the…show more content…
In Othello, Iago has the trust of other characters, those of whom he does not care for at all. He knows of Roderigo’s desperate love for Desdemona and how “[Roderigo] pays Iago to woo her away from Othello.” (Putnam 43) Iago only “helps” Roderigo in separating the Othello and Desdemona “because it will cause him, Othello, distress.” (Putnam 43) Letting Roderigo believe that Iago is helping him is Iago’s first use of manipulation. The utilization of his relationship to Roderigo allows Iago to have an ally to aid him in his goal of bringing Othello to his end. Whereas Roderigo believes that Iago is a good man to trust in and is willing to give Iago money in hopes that he, Roderigo, will get Desdemona. Iago and Roderigo, in the beginning, wake up Brabantio and tell him of Desdemona’s marriage to Othello, who is then angered by Roderigo’s presence due to the continuous past attempts of asking Brabantio for Desdemona’s hand in marriage. Roderigo was already not on Brabantio’s good side, causing Brabantio to not want to listen to anything Roderigo had to say. Iago, on the other hand, used his trick of manipulation to get Brabantio to listen to him. As “Brabantio yells, ‘Thou art a villain’ to which Iago responds, ‘You are a senator’ (I. i. 115-116)” (Putnam 44), Iago is “actually complementing Brabantio (1).” (Putnam 44) This sudden response causes Brabantio to think again of what is happening at the moment and fully listening to what the two have to say about his daughter. Iago’s complement was a small step into getting Brabantio to see for himself that Desdemona had gone to marry the Moor and hopefully have Desdemona’s father go after Othello. However, it was thwarted by Desdemona, who intervenes to confess to her father of her love for Othello. Later on, the
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