Iago's Jealous Rage In William Shakespeare's Othello, Iago is the antagonist of the noble Moor Othello. He plots against him in order to gain power. Iago provides many reasons for his malicious actions that lead back to jealousy. However, Samuel Taylor Coleridge claims Iago's actions are "the motive-hunting of motiveless malignity"Ã¯Â¿Â½ (400). This has become a huge debate that has caused numerous scholars to hunt for Iago's motive still today.
Many critics including W. H. Auden have contradicted Coleridge's estimation of Iago's "motiveless malignity."Ã¯Â¿Â½ Auden is one of many scholars who also think Iago's motive is jealousy. In an article, he posits that Iago's "a seriously jealous man"Ã¯Â¿Â½ (129), and he points out the way Iago behaves toward his wife Emilia. His statement "I hate the Moor, / And it is thought abroad that "ÃÂtwixt my sheets/ He's done my office"Ã¯Â¿Â½ is one more clue of a jealous motive and justifies his rudeness toward Emilia (Shakespeare 1.3.
362-64). However, Iago seems to have feelings for Desdemona also, for he states: Now, I do love her too, Not out of absolute lust, though peradventure I stand accountant for as great a sin, But partly led to diet my revenge For that I do suspect the lusty Moor Hath leaped into my seat. (2.2. 267-72) Once again Iago states his sexual jealousy and desires in Act two, Scene two, " "ÃÂ¦nothing can or shall content my soul/ Till I am even with him [Othello] wife for wife"ÃÂ¦"Ã¯Â¿Â½ (274-275).
Iago admits that his main reason for revenge on Othello is because Cassio got promoted to lieutenant. He expresses ""ÃÂTis the curse of service, /Preferment goes by letter and affection, /And not by old gradation"ÃÂ¦"Ã¯Â¿Â½ (1.1 35-37). This is a well-known quote that has led scholars to believe the initial motive was jealousy. Since...