The Touch Of A Psychopath In Shakespeare's Othello

1167 Words5 Pages
The Touch of a Psychopath
A psychopath is an individual who manifests certain traits such as a lack of empathy, irresponsibility, manipulativeness, pathological lying, high intelligence, lack of remorse or guilt, and shallow behaviour due to an antisocial personality disorder. In the tragedy of Othello, William Shakespeare demonstrates that psychopaths can negatively impact everyone around them due to the certain characteristics that they possess. Iago possesses all of the traits associated with psychopaths and it is clear that his behaviour is motivated by his psychopathy. Iago is a malicious individual whose psychopathic behaviour is strongly reflected in his traits, such as his vast intellect and lack of emotion.
Iago is intelligent and
…show more content…
First of all, he manipulates Roderigo and uses his gullibility and obsession with Desdemona to take control of his fortune. Iago doesn't care about Roderigo and he states “ Thus do I ever make my fool my purse”(Shakespeare 1.3.374). Iago knows that Roderigo is hopelessly in love with Desdemona but it doesn't affect him at all as he continues to give him false assurances that his money will be used to help him achieve a relationship with Desdemona. Iago is heartless, he ignores Roderigo’s love for Desdemona and just uses his naivete for his own purposes. Iago traps Roderigo in an inescapable relationship in which Roderigo is just a puppet controlled by Iago. It is clear that Iago has no emotions because he cheats Roderigo out of his fortune, neither does he regret it nor does he feel guilty. Furthermore, Iago uses Cassio’s trust in him to his advantage and pretends to be his friend while he tarnishes his reputation behind his back. When Iago speaks to the governor of Cyprus, he fabricates the idea that Cassio is an alcoholic and “He’ll watch the horologe a double set, If drink rock not his cradle.”(2.3.116-117). Although Iago pretends to be a good friend, he deliberately defames Cassio in front of Montano. Iago knows that Cassio is a good, innocent man but he couldn't care less about how this will negatively impact Cassio’s reputation. Once again, Iago destroys Cassio’s reputation for no reason without any emotions in this regard. Lastly, Iago destroys Desdemona’s relationship as well as her reputation and uses her goodness against her when he lies to Othello about her fidelity. He tells Othello that Desdemona prefers a suitor with the same “clime, complexion, and degree”(3.3.232). Iago intentionally plays on Othello’s insecurities to try and make it seem like he is not good enough for her because of his skin colour and that,
Open Document