Othello, By William Shakespeare

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“Honest” Iago
In the play Othello by William Shakespeare, Iago manipulates other characters in an iniquitous way causing commotion and destruction in all of their lives. He uses malicious tactics to negatively affect faultless characters who have done nothing to intentionally harm him. In Shakespeare’s Othello, Iago is a character shaped by jealousy and hunger for power. He is ruthless and immoral, and manipulates nearly all the characters in the play in order to get what he wants. Throughout the play, Iago is motivated by his deep hatred of Othello, and will do whatever he can to undermine Othello and destroy his marriage and reputation. Iago knows that Venetians are mistrustful of Moors, and uses general racism towards Moors to attack Othello in any way he can. He knows that Desdemona’s father, Brabantio, is racist towards Moors and would not approve of Othello’s marriage to his daughter. He tells Brabantio, who does not know of the marriage: “You have lost half your soul. Even now, now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise!” (1.1.96-98). Iago wants revenge on Othello, and he is willing to stoop to the lowest possible level to get that revenge. He knows that by highlighting Othello’s race, he can provoke Brabantio to hate Othello, so he reveals Othello and Desdemona’s secret in this context, and Brabantio immediately vows to kill Othello. He also evokes images that are sexual and animalistic in nature by referring to Othello as a ram

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