Perhaps the most interesting and exotic character in the tragic play 'Othello,'
by William Shakespeare, is 'Honest' Iago. Through some carefully thought-out
words and actions, Iago is able to manipulate others to do things in a way that
benefits him and moves him closer toward his goals. He is the main driving
force in this play, pushing Othello and everyone else towards their tragic
Iago is not your ordinary villain. The role he plays is rather unique
and complex, far from what one might expect. Iago is smart. He is an expert
judge of people and their characters and uses this to his advantage. For
example, he knows Roderigo is in love with Desdemona and figures that he
would do anything to have her as his own. Iago says about Roderigo, 'Thus
do I ever make my fool my purse.' [Act I, Scene III, Line 355] By playing
on his hopes, Iago is able to swindle money and jewels from Roderigo, making
himself a substantial profit, while using Roderigo to forward his other
goals. He also thinks quick on his feet and is able to improvise whenever
something unexpected occurs. When Cassio takes hold of Desdemona's hand
before the arrival of the Moor Othello, Iago says, 'With as little a web
as this will I ensnare as great a fly as Cassio.' [Act II, Scene I, Line 163]
His cunning and craftiness make him a truly dastardly villain indeed.
Being as smart as he is, Iago is quick to recognize the advantages of trust
and uses it as a tool to forward his purposes. Throughout the story he is
commonly known as, and commonly called, 'Honest Iago.' He even says of
himself, 'I am an honest man....' [Act II, Scene III, Line 245] Trust is...