Explain your interpretation of Iago's character and role in the play so far Iago, the most villainous character in the play. He has very remarkable powers both of intellect and wit and is totally devoted to himself. It is quite ironic as Iago displays himself as honest towards the other characters in the play, but he is treacherous, deceitful and manipulative.
Iago, is presented in many different ways, he can be described as an evil genius. His character is pure evil, however at the same time he is a genius, in the way he goes about the things he says and does. Iago wants revenge on Othello, as Othello passed him over for the position of lieutenant, and gave it to Cassio. Iago quotes, ' In personal suit to make me his lieutenant.' Iago obviously thought Othello, was going to make him lieutenant. As Iago was passed over, this draws out his evil nature.
Iago is consumed with envy, and from that moment in Act 1, he begins his scheming.
Iago is able, to make people think he is trustworthy and honest, this gives the evil within him a perfect unsuspecting victim for his schemes. Iago has a quick and cunning mind, in Act 1 Scene 2, when Brabantio goes out to find Othello, Iago is present, he states , 'Come, sir, I am for you.' Here, he pretends to be caring and that he is on Othellos side, when only he knows he is not.
Iago displays his, 'scheming ability' when he convinces Roderigo, to tell Brabantio about the marriage of Desdemona and Othello, 'Call up her father'. Roderigo carries out this order straight away, this establishes the control Iago has over, naÃÂ¯ve Roderigo.
Iagos true 'evil genius' is displayed frequently throughout Act 1 and Iago proves that evil intentions can be masked behind a facade of honesty.
Iago, uses his manipulative language, to trick the other characters, this allows him to move towards his goals. Iago has an honest relationship with the audience, he reveals his true side. In Act 1 Scene 1, he states, ' I am not what I am.' This gives the audience an inclination that Iago intends on getting revenge. We see a comparison between the way he interacts with the audience and the way he manipulates the other characters. He exclaims, 'Thou art sure of me.' Here, he is portraying himself as caring and concerned, however he is manipulating Roderigo, as Iago then goes on to stating, in his soliloquy, ' Thus do I ever make my fool, my purse.' He speaks the truth to the audience and he is being deceitful to Roderigo.
Another use of Iagos manipulative language is, when he is discussing his position, in Act 1 Scene 1, with Roderigo. He uses, 'he', when talking about Othello. 'As masterly as he' and 'And that was he'. Shakespeare wants the reader to believe that Othello, is the ultimate evil, however later on in the act, we learn Othello is not evil, but a good man. In addition to this, not mentioning Othellos name, shows lack of respect for him, possibly because he is a black man in a white society, he is vulnerable.
Iago, also manipulates Othello, he quotes, ' That the Magnifico is much believed.' He uses, 'Magnifico', to manipulate Othello, as he is trying to convey that there are other people which are superior to him.
Misrepresentation allows Iago to gain trust from the other characters, he is able to appear honest in order to deceive and misdirect people.
Iago, is a very jealous character, not only is he jealous because he was not made lieutenant, but he appears to be a jealous husband. Part of his scheme is to target Cassio, ' a proper man', and accuse him and Othellos wife, Desdemona of having an affair. This will allow him to gain his revenge against Othello.
In Iago's soliloquy in Act 1, Iago states, 'It is thought abroad that 'twixt my sheets. He's done my office.' It is thought that Othello has slept with Emilia. This quotation portrays, Iagos pure dishonesty and jealousy. The term, 'Abroad' means, 'everywhere,' and Iago's 'office' or job, between his sheets is to have sex with his wife, Emilia. Othello and Iagos wife are not even vaguely interested in one another, and no one thinks otherwise.
Iago states in scene 3 of Act 1, 'If thou canst cuckold him.' He wants Othello to be unfaithful, to Desdemona, as he is again jealous of their loving relationship, the type of relationship he does not have with his wife.
Iago can also be titled, 'Embittered Officer,' this is because, he has become bitter towards Othello as he has served him and been a loyal friend, but was not give the position of Othellos lieutenant, as he was passed over and instead it was given to Cassio. Iago is consumed with envy and plots to steal the position he feels he most justly deserves. He displays his anger as he exclaims, 'Dispose me if I do not.' He feels great hatred towards both Cassio and Othello. In addition to this, Iago resents Cassio and therefore he devises a cunning scheme, to bring them both down.
Roderigo is the only character, who is aware of Iagos hatred and bitterness towards Othello and Cassio. As well as Roderigo, the audience are conscious of his plans and his evilness.
Although, Iago is thought to serve Othello, he is not acting as a loyal officer, instead he is plotting behind is back and being deceitful. Ironically, to Othellos face, Iago is his comrade and his trusty servant.
There is a great deal of dramatic irony in the play, and this term can be used to describe Iagos character, a loyal servant. It is ironic because the other characters think he is, however the audience know different. He only pretends to be loyal to, but this pretence is allowing him to manipulate Othello. By, playing the, 'Loyal servant' he is able to get his revenge without Othello or anyone else knowing. Iago uses Othello's trustfulness and integrity, he knows Othello already trusts him, therefore Iago will "play" an honest man who is loyal and loves his general. With this, revenge comes easy for Iago. In Act 1 Scene 1, Iago states, 'I follow him to serve my turn upon him.' Iago wants to over throw Othello, this quote displays that he is not the loyal servant to Othello, he is completely against him.
Also, in Act 1, Iago exclaims, 'Come, sir, I am for you.' This is dramatic irony, as we know he is not on Othellos side, however once again he pretends to be. In addition to this, in Scene 3, Othello quotes, 'Honest Iago,' Othello trusts him, which is ironic as we know Iago cannot be trusted.
Iago can also be named, ' An advisor,' again this is dramatic irony, as Iago advises Roderigo, but it is only for his own good. Roderigo appears to be naÃÂ¯ve. Roderigo does not know what Iago is plotting. In scene 1, Iago advises Roderigo to, 'Call up her father, rouse him, make after him.' Iago, is persuasive, because he knows that Roderigo is in love with Desdemona, so he will do anything to prevent Othello and Desdemona from being together. However, Iago is not doing this for Roderigo, he is doing it for himself. Iago often appears to be funny, when with foolish Roderigo, this serves as a showcase of Iago's manipulative abilities.
In Scene 3, we witness Iago assuring Roderigo that his scheme against Othello will leave Desdemona free to marry him, and he directs Roderigo to gather money which will allow him to go to Cyprus. Once again Iago is advising him, ' Go make money?Put money enough in your purse.' Iago is deceitful, however Roderigo is foolish and falls for this.
In conclusion to this, Roderigo displays many different characters, throughout act 1. We see how deceitful and manipulative he is and we see the dramatic irony, of him being a loyal servant and a trusty friend, as well.