Iago is one of Shakespeare’s most complex and enigmatic characters. He is Othello’s loyal ensign, but he also harbors a deep resentment towards his commander. Iago is a master manipulator, and he views himself as a Machiavellian figure who is always in control. He is Othello’s foil, and his self-perception is the complete opposite of his commander’s.
While Othello sees himself as a noble and honorable man, Iago views himself as a schemer and a liar. Iago is motivated by envy and spite, and he delights in causing Othello pain. He is a dangerous enemy, but he is also oddly charming and magnetic. It is this combination of qualities that makes Iago such a compelling and dangerous character.
With this in mind, we can read Othello with a high degree of sophistication since it reflects our society today. We encounter frequent examples of racism, gender prejudice, evil people, and suicides as a result of poor self-perception. In the play, you’ll find several instances of all of these problems. Emilia’s hatred for males is one example I could mention. The question I’m most interested in is how Iago views himself. To me, Iago doesn’t seem to know what he is.
Iago is an evil man. He doesn’t care about anyone but himself. He will do whatever it takes to get what he wants. Even if that means ruining other people’s lives. Iago is a racist. He hates Othello because he is black. Iago is also a sexist. He hates all women and treats them badly.
I think the reason Iago hates everyone is because he hates himself. Iago has a very low opinion of himself. He is always putting himself down. I think the reason Iago is so evil is because he wants to be loved and accepted but he doesn’t believe that he is worthy of love or acceptance.
Iago is a very complicated character. He is hard to understand because he is so full of hatred. I think the reason Iago hates Othello so much is because Othello represents everything that Iago wants to be but isn’t. Othello is successful, loved and respected while Iago is none of those things. Iago envy’s Othello and that envy turns to hate. I think Iago’s low self esteem is the root of all his problems. If Iago had a better opinion of himself, he wouldn’t hate Othello or anyone else.
Throughout the play, we are given several different viewpoints on people. The characters most often saw Iago as honest Iago. I believe that we do not receive a clear glimpse of how Iago views himself. He refers to himself as evil and devious, but he also claims that blaming him for being a villain is unfair since he does not demand money for his advice. “When this advice is free…”).
Othello also views Iago as honest Iago and gives him the promotion. This could be because Othello is new to his position and is not used to being around people and reading them clearly. Othello is also very trusting, which could be another reason why he views Iago as an honest person. We see from Iago’s soliloquies that he is planning something sinister, but we do not know his true motive until later in the play.
It is only when Othello starts to doubt Iago that we see a change in Iago’s perception of himself. He starts to view himself as a villain and revels in the fact that he has been able to deceive Othello so easily. “I am not what I am./What I am, you see before you.” Up until this point in the play, we have seen Iago as a manipulator, but we have not seen his true self. It is only when Othello starts to question him that we see Iago for who he really is.
Iago, according to Brannan, was initially a good-spirited character aiming to improve his station. Iago did not feel that he belonged in the Venetian state or in the group to which he aspired. Because of Cassio’s remark about Iago’s generosity, we know Iago is an outsider. “I never knew/ A Florentine more kind and honest.” (III,i,39-40) It’s possible that Iago’s severe actions against Othello in Cyprus were motivated by his status as an outcast and feeling like he didn’t belong.
Othello was a man of high power and Iago wanted to be in Othello’s shoes. Othello had what Iago desired, “I follow him to serve my turn upon him: We cannot all be masters, nor all masters/ Cannot be truly followed.”(I,I,40-42) To summarize, Iago is not happy with his self-perception and wants to change his status quo. He is willing to do anything to get what he wants including lying and cheat.
He does whatever it takes to get what he wants which often means hurting other people. Othello trusts Iago more than anyone else but Iago takes advantage of that trust and betrays Othello in the end. Iago is not a good person and does not have good intentions. His actions are driven by his own selfish desires.
Iago may have felt he had no cause to fight for Venice. Iago is comparable to a young child who has just arrived in town and feels left out. Or perhaps the youngster who was once a member of the group and now feels left out because his or her friends have found someone new to play with. It would be natural for him or her to dislike the newcomer. Othello is assigned as Cyprus’s best man for the position of public service by the state. Iago, believing himself superior, becomes jealous and envious at once.
Othello is a man of great integrity and Iago loathes him for it. Othello, is also successful with the ladies. This is another quality that fuels Iago’s anger. When Othello denies Iago’s request to be his lieutenant, it becomes clear to Iago that Othello will never see him as an equal. Othello’s race adds insult to injury. Shakespeare uses the word “Barbary” when referring to Othello’s homeland.
This was a term used to describe African Moors in a negative way. Othello does not seem to care about the way he is perceived by others. He is content with who he is. Iago on the other hand, is not content with who he is. He wants others to see him as being better than he is. This need for validation is what drives Iago’s actions throughout the play.
Iagos self-perception is that of an honest man, but Othello does not see him this way. Othello believes that Iago is envious and jealous. Othello also believes that Iago cannot be trusted because he has lied in the past. Othello’s opinion of Iago changes over the course of the play, but it is never as high as Iago would like it to be.
In the end, Othello sees Iago for what he really is, a manipulative and evil man. Iago’s self-perception is that of a victim. He believes that he has been wronged by Othello and that is why he takes his revenge. Iago is not content with just ruining Othello’s life, he also wants to destroy his reputation. Iago wants everyone to see Othello as the monster that he believes him to be.
At first glance, Iago appears to despise everyone. It’s possible that we got the sense of a dislike for himself or at least what he was doing in certain parts of the play. Iago has an intense hatred for his wife and all women in general. He despises Othello because he is black skinned, holds a higher position, and chooses Michael Cassio as his officer.
He is a master manipulator and will use anyone he can to get what he wants. He is Othello’s ensign (a position he hates) and uses this to his advantage. Othello trusts Iago implicitly, which gives Iago the power to manipulate him. Iago also knows that Othello has been sleeping with Emilia (Iago’s wife) and uses this as ammunition against Othello.
Iago is a very self-centered person and everything he does is for himself. He doesn’t care about anyone else, only what benefits him. He is happy to see other people suffer as long as it means he gets what he wants in the end. Even his so-called “friendship” with Roderigo is based on what Iago can get out of it. He encourages Roderigo to keep pursuing Desdemona, even though he knows that it is hopeless, because he knows that Roderigo will continue to give him money.
Iago is a very paranoid person and is always suspicious of everyone. He is always thinking that people are out to get him or plotting against him. This paranoia leads him to believe that Othello is sleeping with his wife and that Cassio is planning to usurp his position. This paranoia drives Iago’s actions throughout the play.