Narcissism In Shakespeare's Othello

1041 Words5 Pages
William Shakespeare once said, “A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.” This idea can be easily applied to his play Othello. In this book Shakespeare writes of an individual, Iago, who thinks himself to be wise in his plan to get back at his superior, Othello, who kept a job opportunity from him. Iago schemes and plans not thinking about anyone else but himself and his goal to get himself promoted. Iago thinks he is smarter than everyone else and does not care about the consequences of his actions. Throughout the book, the reader learns that Iago has a grand sense of self, needs admiration while taking much pride in his accomplishments, and lacks empathy for the characters whose lives he affects. Accordingly, Iago considers himself a wise man, but the reader realizes hs is, in fact, a fool.
Furthermore, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders characterizes narcissism as a personality disorder under Cluster B of Personality Disorders. There are nine criteria characterizing narcissism, but in order to have a diagnosis of narcissism one must meet five of the nine criteria. The essential factor of a narcissistic personality disorder is a pattern of “grandiosity” (DSM-670), which means that the individual amplifies their achievements (DSM-669). According to the manual, narcissists also “overestimate their abilities and inflate their accomplishments and often appear boastful and pretentious” (DSM-670). In addition,
Get Access