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The Real Monster, Othello Or Iago

4361 words - 18 pages

The Real Monster, Othello or Iago
In order to decipher who is the real monster, Othello or Iago, I must
first gain a suitable knowledge of what a monster is. The Oxford
Paperback Dictionary and Thesaurus defines a monster to be, ‘an
inhumanely wicked person.’ The Webster’s 1828 Dictionary interprets a
monster as, ‘one unnaturally wicked or mischievous.’ This shows that
concept of what a monster is has remained fairly constant over time.
This leads me to believe that when Shakespeare was creating Othello
his ideas as to what a monster was were similar to that of those
today. In some ways the term monster can be linked to that of
fairytales, ...view middle of the document...

In my mind this reason seem far to inferior to
explain the enraged, bitter feelings that Iago has towards the Moor.

However, during this same scene he delivers some more reasons that do,
to some extent explain his animosity for Othello. It is the matter of
sexual jealousy.

‘twixt my sheets

He’s done my office.’ (Act 1 Scene 3)

In this soliloquy he is admitting his more secretive motives for
wanting to obliterate the Moor. He suspects Othello of having illicit
relations with his wife, Emilia, although he has no proof. This
soliloquy was designed to give and even clearer picture of why Iago
wanted revenge on Othello. However it has the reverse effect. In my
mind it causes increased confusion, I can understand wanting revenge
if you suspect a man of ‘cuckolding’ your wife, if you actually loved
her. But evidence throughout the text displays that Iago has no love
for anyone apart from himself, most especially his wife. This leads me
to believe my first suspicions that he actually had no sound motives.

I think this is one of the main factors that makes me believe that it
is Iago who is the monster. To me it appears that the destruction of
Othello and Desdemona’s happiness is like a game to him. He takes some
kind of twisted pleasure in seeing their lives fall apart.

‘And practising upon his peace and quiet

Even to madness.’ (Act 2 Scene 1)

Iago is prepared to go to any lengths to exact his revenge on the
Moor. He is cunning enough to make use of Othello’s weaknesses and
doesn’t care what will become of him. He is unconcerned that it could
result in the Moors insanity!

Iago is a cunning manipulator. He has the ability to twist people
round his finger, getting them to do his bidding, whatever it is!

‘RODERIGO: How do you mean ‘removing’ him?

IAGO: …knocking out his brains

RODERIGO: And that you would have me do?’ (Act 4 Scene 2)

In this extract of the play Iago is trying to convince Roderigo to
murder Cassio. This is an achievement in itself! What makes it more
extraordinary is the fact that literally only a couple of pages
before, Roderigo was planning to kill Iago. However, Iago using his
conniving ability managed swiftly to change the situation around, and
instead utilise Roderigo in his own plans. Throughout the play Iago
uses his perceptive nature to exploit Roderigo’s love for Desdemona.
As the play progresses Iago’s control over Roderigo intensifies. Iago
manages to convince him that Desdemona is in love with Cassio.
Ultimately this enables Iago to rid himself of Cassio without being

Iago is a corrupt man; he will go to any lengths to get what he wants!
He manipulates or uses almost anyone in the play. Obviously, the
person at the forefront of this manipulation is Othello. Above anyone
else he is the one that Iago seeks...

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