Critical Analysis of The Character Iago in William Shakespeare's "Othello".

Essay by marckurtzUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, December 2005

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Iago, one of William Shakespeare's most intriguing and plausible villains in the book of Othello, is often described as being completely evil. However, one could argue that Iago is actually a sociopath, having no conscious and being an immoral human being. When he murders his wife, Emilia, he does so, not in anger, but because she can hurt his chances of keeping the position Othello has bestowed upon him. His merciless killing of Roderigo further demonstrates his immorality as well as his ability to quickly invent lies and stories to deceive his family and friends. Through the use of soliloquies, Shakespeare takes the audience into the mind of Iago where we watch as Iago revels in the chaos that unfolds due to his manipulation and deception of others:

Thus do I ever make my fool my purse: / For I mine own gain'd knowledge should profane, / If I would time expend with such a snipe.

/ But for my sport and profit. I hate the Moor: / And it is thought abroad, that 'twixt my sheets / He has done my office: I know not if't be true; / But I, for mere suspicion in that kind, / Will do as if for surety. He holds me well; / The better shall my purpose work on him. / Cassio's a proper man: let me see now: / To get his place and to plume up my will / In double knavery -- How, how? Let's see: -- / After some time, to abuse Othello's ear / That he is too familiar with his wife. / He hath a person and a smooth dispose / To be suspected, framed to make women false. / The Moor is of a free and open nature, / That thinks men honest that but...