Iago’s Alter Ego: Essay

Decent Essays

A Look at Janet Adelman’s Critical Essay, “Iago’s Alter Ego: Race as projection in Othello”
In Janet Adelman’s critical reading of Othello, she tries to identify racial issues in the sub-text, specifically explaining the actions of the title character through the psychoanalytic theory. She believes that Othello is a victim of the racist society in which he was emerged once he married Desdemona. With no other review of himself available, it begins to define his actually personality, leading to a tragic end. As Othello begins looking at his dark skin as an unfortunate “stain” he feels unworthy of Desdemona, which makes it easier for him to believe that she had been unfaithful with someone more deserving of her. Janet Adelman focuses her …show more content…

Another act that was changed by Adelman’s view was the following scene, in which Iago rouses Brabantio’s racist tendencies by reporting that “Even now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe.” (1.2 88-89) I knew that Iago was wishing to cause problems for the Moor, but the contrast of black and white is pointed out several times, hinting at a deliberate manipulation of Brabantio’s acceptance of Othello.
I believe Adelman is successful in her idea that Iago is the main source of the racism that shapes Othello’s own mind in the end, and his reasoning behind the destruction is jealousy. She gives examples from the beginning to the very last scene, in which Iago’s final plan falls apart. Although he manipulates Othello into killing his wife, he is not able to fully corrupt him, as he states “An honorable murder if you will; for naught did I in hate, but all in honor.” (5.2.) She also points out that Iago’s plan was a failure from the beginning because by destroying the thing that he envied, he no longer has an object to be jealous of. This destroys his twisted sense of “I”, and as Adelman concludes “from this time forth he will never speak a

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