Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Othello, By William Shakespeare - 1203 Words

Most other Shakespearean characters commit malicious actions in order to achieve a particular goal. Oftentimes the reason is ambition, as in Macbeth, or revenge, as in Hamlet. What is interesting about Iago is that the audience never knows for certain why it is that Iago wants to destroy Othello. His evil comes without a motive. The characterization of Iago as a motiveless malignity was first proposed by Samuel Taylor Coleridge as he was preparing a series of lectures delivered in 1818. Coleridge calls him a motiveless malignity at the end of Act 1, Scene 3 when Iago leaves Roderigo, saying, Go to, farewell. Put money enough in your purse, and then gives the soliloquy beginning Thus do I ever make my fool my purse (1.3.423-426).†¦show more content†¦Another example is at the very beginning when Iago proclaims to Brabantio, â€Å"Even now, now, very now, an old black ram, Is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise!† (1.1.89-90). He uses strong racist language to incite a nger in Desdemona’s father, and manipulates him into being very angry. These examples of his persuasion throughout the plot contribute to the fact that he is able to manipulate anyone however he likes. His manipulative tendencies are important in regard to the motiveless malignity. A motive is a reason for doing something, and it is generally to achieve something. With the knowledge that Iago is able to get anything he wants, one can only assume that there is nothing that is trying to get by manipulating these people, which shows that he is just being evil for the sake of being evil with no particular reason. Nevertheless, one can easily argue against the conclusion that Iago is evil for no particular reason. There are specific instances throughout the text when Iago soliloquizes about specifically why he hates the Moor. However, these reasons are not very consistent and continue to change. The story begins with Iago resenting Othello because of professional jealousy, but the n he changes the reason of hatred to his potential feelings for Desdemona and his dislike for the relationship between the two of them. It again changes to the possibility of

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