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Troublesome Iago

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By Aryan Minooe

Iago begins the play as an innocent man who is working alongside Roderigo. He is helping Roderigo to get Desdemona, because he is paying Iago in jewels. It is not long before Iago betrays his own partner, Roderigo, and goes off starting drama. Iago also acts like he is friends with Othello and Cassio, but then he goes behind their back and starts rumors about each of them.

Iago, a man who has no sympathy whatsoever for any of the other characters, is the foundation for the play, Othello. Iago does savage things to all of the characters and does not even feel guilty about it once the result is bad. These ridiculous actions cause the characters to turn against one another, which keeps the play entertaining. The worst part is he never gets punished for his mischievous actions. Othello says, “Iago is most honest” (II.iii.83). Othello, as well as all of the other characters, think that Iago is a very trustworthy and honest person. However, the truth is he is the exact opposite; he is a cunning liar. Emilia says, “You told a lie, an odious, damned lie! / Upon my soul, a lie, a wicked lie!” (V.ii.251). We learn a lot about Iago as a character from his actions. Anything that he says, or that is said of him, is not true. The truth about Iago is that he is a mischievous and he does anything he can to cause trouble. Iago also acts innocent and gets away with it because of his honest reputation. Iago says, “Whose noise is this that cries on / murder?” (V.i.227). He said this immediately after he himself stabbed Cassio and then acted like he was clueless. Iago does not care who experiences troubles, as long as there is some sort of conflict occurring. It almost seems like he does it for his own personal pleasure. Overall, Iago is a very unpredictable and deceptive character.

The characters do not realize who Iago really is until the very end of the play; however, we know who he is the entire time. We, as the readers, knew that Iago was the source of everyone’s problems, but the other characters did not even imagine it to be Iago. As stated before, all of the other characters believe that Iago is one of the most honest and trustworthy people around. Before the story ends, Othello as well as everyone else who is alive, realizes that every single problem that they had was due to Iago and his lies. Without Iago, the play, Othello, would not have consisted of as much conflict between the characters, which is what made the play entertaining.


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