(In personal suit to make me his lieutenant) / Off-capped to him, and by the faith of the man / I know my price, I am worth no worse a place" (1. 1. 8-12). Iago is explaining why he hates Othello so much, to reassure Rodrigo that he'll help him take him down. We find out that Iago loathes Othello so much because, in his eyes, Othello stole Iago's job and rank from him. It's this hatred that leads Iago to emotionally manipulate Othello in an act of revenge, committing atrocious acts on the way.
Psychopaths have attributes of detachment, insincere speech, selfishness, and violence. In the tragedy, Othello, the playwright William Shakespeare constructs an antagonist with such traits. This evil character, Iago, is known for being one of the most sinister villains Shakespeare has even written. Through Iago’s psychopathic manipulations and detached persona, Shakespeare shows that psychopaths are not redeemable in the play.
Iago’s jealousy and rage of not being chosen for lieutenant is leading him to create a plan for revenge on Othello and the others. Iago is immediately portrayed as an antagonist because when he finds out that Roderigo is upset about Desdemona marrying Othello he uses that vulnerability. He then uses Roderigo to play a role in Othello’s downfall. Omer explains that “In his pain Roderigo cannot but take in avidly Iago’s loving reassurances. Anguish makes one ready to believe” (Omer,99).
Secondly, Iago manipulates Cassio the most throughout the book. He uses Cassio’s social status and his trust with Othello to ruin his reputation. Iago is jealous of Cassio because he is higher status and has a strong relationship with Othello. For Iago’s plan to work he needs to get closer to Othello, but first he needs to break Othello and Cassio’s trust first. So one night Cassio is supposed to be keeping a party under control Othello tells him “good Michael, look you to the guard tonight.
He is manipulative and tells Othello to “observe her [Desdemona] well with Cassio” (Shakespeare, 3.3:197). Iago feeds Othello with countless lies and makes him miserable with something that is not factual. He is determined to get revenge and he does not realize Iago stands insincere. Furthermore, Iago is selfish when he tells Othello, “I am yours for ever” (3.3:479). He betrays Othello yet still let’s him depend on him for his own
As the tragedy begins, Othello and Desdemona had run off and gotten married without telling Desdemona’s father. When Iago finds out he did not get the job he wanted, he tells Roderigo to “Proclaim him in the streets; incense her kinsmen”(I. I. 76-80). Brabantio, who did not know about his own daughter’s marriage, is finding out from two strangers. This allows Iago to take advantage of Barbantio’s surprise and to come in between the newly weds with his disapproval.
In the play Othello, William Shakespeare creates an elaborate tragedy with various in depth characters, enhancing the story with powerful characterization. Iago, the main antagonist of Othello, exemplifies Shakespeare’s use of characterization to create in depth and complex characters. Using his manipulative nature, intellectual mind, egotistical attitude, and dishonesty, Iago controls the other characters in order to achieve his goal, leading Othello to succumb to an overwhelming jealousy causing his downfall. In order for Iago to gain control of the characters in the play, he manipulates Othello, Roderigo, Cassio, and more to believe false information and turn on one another.
He expresses his jealousy for Cassio when he says that Othello “already chose [his] officer” who he calls “One Michael Cassio, a Florentine” who “never set a squadron in the field.” Iago believes he should have gotten the promotion because he had more military experience and training. After he gets Cassio drunk and dismissed from service, he devises a plan to manipulate Othello into believing he is cheating with Desdemona in order that Cassio never gets his position again or even killed. Iago also hears a rumor that Othello slept with his
The exploitation of Othello’s race leads to the manipulation Roderigo, Cassio, Brabantio, the Venetians, and the audience to see Othello as inferior although, the only difference between him and the Venetians is his lineage. In the first act of the play, Iago and Roderigo go to Brabantio’s house to rile him out of his sleep. This is seen as the first step of defaming Othello’s character. The two
“Othello” written by William Shakespeare revolves around this protagonist who is depicted as strong and powerful. To everyone he is known as Othello or the Moor. Throughout the play, Shakespeare portrays numerous counts of jealousy and manipulation around many of the characters. It is mainly illustrated through Iago, the antagonist of the play, who manipulates other to their downfall. Iago who is known for always being true and honest towards others has easily earned the trust of everyone around him, thus giving himself an advantage on his schemes.
Kolin observes that Iago stands out among Shakespearean villains since he is the only one to survive his own monstrous acts (25). Unlike Richard III, apart from telling stories, Iago carries out a downright fraud through other means of manipulation, which makes him the most evil and intelligent character. To be exact, Iago is a puppeteer who sets up scenes to deceive the “credulous fools”—Othello, Cassio and Desdemona (4.1.45). Iago talks to Cassio about Bianca while telling Othello that the subject of their conversation is the Moor’s wife. He is so smart and careful that he even gestures Othello to come closer when Cassio is about to illustrate how Bianca entangles him.
Iago’s powerfully disruptive insinuations torment Othello to fall precipitously into his intricate trap, believing in the prospect of Cassio and Desdemona’s fictitious affair. Through the use of linguistic techniques such as elliptical speech, subservient vocative choices and a hesitant tone, Iago is able to construct artful innuendoes to deceive and manipulate Othello. Supplementary to linguistic techniques, dramatic techniques such as dramatic irony reinforces Iago’s role as a two-faced villain, who is making a pretence of being Othello’s loyal ensign. Eventually, Iago’s villainy nature sows a seed of doubt in Othello that germinates into the murder of Desdemona. Through the characterisation of Iago as a notorious villain, Shakespeare is able to hold Iago’s actions accountable for the play’s tragic downfall, establishing a sense of powerlessness amongst the
While Iago continues with discussing his thoughts, he brings up many reasons behind why he is planning to get revenge. First, he uses derogatory terms to describe Othello such as a moor. Because of these, the audience may suspect that his motive is due to him being black and in a high position. In addition, he suspected his wife Emilia to be having an affair with Othello which, to the audience, may be another reason why revenge is desired. Thirdly, Iago mentions his motive to try to get Cassio out of the lieutenant position.