Othello Research Paper

1962 Words8 Pages
Literary Madness
Far more advanced for his time period, Shakespeare’s talent went unrecognized in the category of not just literature, but psychology as well. During the Elizabethan time period, it was unaware that a human could have psychological defects, let alone have characters who express these faults in a play. Shakespeare’s Othello was produced with two of the main characters having significant behavioral disorders. With a changing motive, the antagonist Iago expresses the symptoms of a narcissist and a sociopath by manipulating the protagonist Othello with lies about his wife. The infected Othello becomes caught up in Iago’s deception which causes him to show the traits of having low serotonin levels and appears to be going
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Deep desire to be at the center of things is served by extreme self-confidence, a combination that makes narcissists attractive and even charming (Woods 256). Other symptoms can be expressed as two-faced, manipulative, seductive, and hypocritical (Kanter 121). The cause of these thoughts in humans has to do with an improperly working ego. There was a common theme on a general cause of this disorder which was, early transition into the 'real world' fails in some way, leading the person to remain, at least in part, in the early self-focused. The Narcissist fails to learn regard for other people, situations, or entities (Kanter 123). Iago expressed the qualities of a diagnosed Narcissist throughout the entire play. With a need for approval, he went unfulfilled when Othello promoted Cassio instead of himself. In order to get back at Othello he plotted against him. Always appearing as trustworthy, Iago tricked Othello into believing his lies. Also throughout the play there was always a lack of empathy towards the destruction of Othello and Desdemona’s relationship. These symptoms clearly identify Iago as a certified narcissist.
The second psychological disorder associated with Iago is sociopathic. The symptoms of a sociopath are described as “complete disregard for other’s rights, generally physically aggressive, difficult to stay in relationships, a lot of intelligence and charm. They may seem mellow and friendly but these qualities are artificial and used by

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