The Role Of Iago In Othello's Evil

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‘Iago is such a disturbing villain because he seems to have no real motives for his evil.’ How far and in what ways do you agree with this view?

Iago is nothing more than a devious mastermind and Machiavellian of the Shakespearean tragedy, Othello. Whilst Iago does try to communicate multiple reasons for his motives in wanting to destroy Cassio and Othello these are mere rationalisations and excuses to provide justification for his evil actions and can only be accepted when analysing Othello on a surface level. Looking into Othello further we can see that Iago is a power thirsty character that dwells in his corruption and evil which makes him such a disturbing villain.

Iago gives a sheer numbers of excuses to try and prove his ulterior motives, conveniently adding new reasons for his hate every time he needs to encourage Roderigo to do something for him. Iago first announces that he wants to get revenge on Othello and Cassio due to professional jealousy, as he was passed up for the promotion of lieutenant in the place of “Florentine” Michael Cassio. Having fought alongside Othello in three previous battles and expressed his loyalty, Iago
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An embodiment of evil, with no moral compunction, and therefore while he does initially provide reasons for his wicked intentions, his motives are unsubstantial and merely excuses to cover up his inner evil and Machiavellian ways. Iago is an incredibly intelligent, cunning villain, who throughout the play uses his ability to think quickly and to play multiple roles to clutch on to every opportunity that will further his cause. At first, his motives are revealed to be based upon his lack of promotion, later he changes this to sexual jealousy and finally on the belief that his own made up affair between Cassio and Desdemona is true. Iago seems to be ever altering and modifying his motives, indecisive as to what his real motive is making it seem as though he is indeed nothing but a motiveless disturbing

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