Othello: Iago the Outsider
In any story with a recurring dark style there always must be an outsider from humanity who in some way stands out from the seemingly equivalent neighborhood. When it comes to Shakespeare’s Othello the outsider from mankind would be Iago for he genuinely sticks out from the rest of society. Although Othello may be physically put out of the community, it seems that on a psychological and egotistical level Iago puts himself out of society even more then Othello’s blackness does. He is not simply manipulative, as other bad guys are; he turns elements of truth and good qualities, which he does not possess, and uses them as weak point for his own scheme.
He deceives individuals to follow his strategies by informing them the fact and what appears to be good advice. By basing on the side and seeing individuals he seems to get more information about them then they even know themselves. He seems to envy these people and the relationships that they have, since he will never ever know what these connections feel like. He utilizes individuals’s strengths as their weak points to bring them to their doom. He causes much damage and is driven by a force that the reader can not even understand. Iago makes himself an outsider by not recognizing that his ego triggers him to hate and disrespect all of humanity.
Iago respects nobody and yet is cunning enough to make people continue to trust and respect him. This is a really extremely human quality in Iago that permits him to control individuals to do what he desires without them understanding. He is married to Emilia, and although the reader would see marriage as a spiritual bond, Iago manipulates it for his selfish methods. It may be his reckless marital relationship that causes him to feel that he needs to destroy Desdemona’s and Othello’s. This would reveal his childish, envious mindset towards others. The reason he treats Emilia so badly might be that he blames her for their inefficient marital relationship.
From this, she has actually gotten a perhaps not so tainted picture of males and husbandry. She explains men “are all but stomachs, and we all but food; they consume us hungerly, and when they are full, they belch us.” (III, iv, 98-100) Iago treats Emilia as if she were a slave at his every impulse and she knows it but for some factor Iago has tricked her into believing that’s the way life is in marital relationship; so although Emilia may seem like the more knowledgeable character in the play she herself can not even see the corruptness in Iago’s methods. Another character who was obviously deceived by Iago was Roderigo.
Iago used Roderigo’s infatuation with Desdemona to set his plan off. It is obvious that Iago gets pure enjoyment out of controling an innocent, unintelligent bystander such as Roderigo; just like how flies amuse naughty young boys. Iago continually duplicates “Put money in thy purse” (I, iii, 334-335) as he is pretending to reduce Roderigo’s discomfort and tell him that there’s still wish for him and Desdemona. Roderigo’s empathy towards Desdeomona triggers Iago to feel practically envious of such an honorable characteristic. Roderigo has no idea that Iago is not only preparing to utilize him as a pawn in his strategy but to also take his cash while he’s at it.
Iago provides false trust to Othello as well as Roderigo. Othello relied on Iago to such a culmination that he would even leave the fortune of his wife with him. “Othello My life upon her faith! Honest Iago, My Desdemona needs to I leave to thee” (I, iii, 291-293) In this you can likewise see one of the different lines where Iago is described as honest. That continual reference demonstrates how quickly Iago gets individuals to trust his pretension. As well as that, Iago dangerously goes behind peoples backs to the point where he is actually disrespecting Othello mere lines after he was simply honored by him.
The fact that Othello provided his trust to him doesn’t at all prevent Iago’s capability to trick him minutes later on. “Iago Hence do I ever make my fool my purse: For I mine own gain ‘d knowledge ought to profane, If I would time expend with such a snipe. But for my sport and profit. I hate the Moor” (I, iii, 374-377) Both Othello and Roderigo have no idea of Iago’s intentions. Iago had the ability to control and damage everybody’s lives by taking relationship and trust turning it against the benefactors. Iago has no conscience and therefore unlike Othello or any other awful hero requests no redemption.
Among Iago’s astucious qualities is his ability to take the great quality of others and use them versus them. He takes it even further, however, as he has no awareness of the evil he has done. Iago suspects Othello may have slept with his wife. He is not positive, however states that surety is not necessary. “Iago But for my sport and revenue. I hate the Moor, And it is thought abroad that? twixt my sheets H’as done my workplace. I know not if’t hold true, However I, for mere suspicion because kind, Will do, as if for surety.” (I, iii, 379-381)
This demonstrates how Iago isn’t actually concerned about Emilia being unfaithful with Othello or anyone for that matter. He simply wishes to mess up Othello beyond factor. Iago takes what most of us view as great and utilizes those qualities versus characters in the play. He has the ability to take something as pure as Othello and Desdemona’s love or Cassio’s loyalty as a weakness that he can pounce on. “He holds me well; The much better shall my function deal with him.” (I, iii, 381-382) Iago has no great qualities so as a jealous repay he takes trust and turns it versus the trusting and then tries to take it even further for himself. “Iago
Cassio’s a proper guy. Let me see now; To get his location, and to plume up my will In double knavery. How? How? Let’s see.” (I, iii, 383-385) Iago knows he can perform? double knavery’ if his plan goes right: he can get Cassio’s position along with the sheer satisfaction of watching others suffer. Of all the characters in the play it appears that Othello is the weakest contradicting his strong position. Iago understands this and is all set to pounce as quickly as he feels relied on. “Iago The Moor is of a free and open nature That thinks males honest that however appear to be so; And will as tenderly be led by th’ nose As asses are.” (I, iii, 390-393)
Unlike Othello or outsiders represented in other works, Iago deliberately puts himself outside of humankind and embraces his own egotistical nature as if he dislikes the mankind. Throughout all of this mayhem and evil that Iago spreads, it’s as if he feels all of the characters in his video game deserve what they’re getting. “Iago She will reverse her credit with the Moor. So I will turn her virtue into pitch; And out of her goodness make the net That shall enmesh them all.” (II, iii, 337-340) In this soliloquy Iago says he will “enmesh them all”, referring to the fact that he will entangle all of the characters in his web of destruction.
It seems that this early in the play he already knows his whole strategy to the eleventh hour and he speaks as if what he is doing is punishment for something they all have done. Could it be that he is punishing them merely since they are various then him? Or possibly he feels that he lacks honorable qualities that they all possess and they just way to restore his ego is to ruin them all. “Iago Now, whether he kill Cassio Or Cassio him, or each do eliminate the other, Every way makes my gain. Live Roderigo, He calls me to a restitution large Of gold and jewels that I bobb ‘d from him
As gifts to Desdemona; It must not be. If Cassio do stay, He hath a day-to-day beauty in his life That makes me awful; and besides, the Moor May unfold me to him; there stand I in much hazard. No, he should die.” (V, I, 12-22) This is at the point of the play where Roderigo finally goes to challenge Cassio in a battle to the death. He talks about Roderigo and Cassio killing each other over a situation he catalyzed. In the start he does not even care who wins, its not until he recognized that it is more to his earnings for Roderigo to win that he selects sides.
He is enabling individuals to kill each other so that he can get what he desires and even after Roderigo does the deed Iago kills still him. At the end of the play when all is stated and done, and Iago is caught up in his web of damage, Othello challenges him angrily. “Othello Will you, I pray, demand that demi-devil Why he has therefore ensnar ‘d my soul and body? Iago Need me absolutely nothing. What you know, you know From this time forth I never will speak word.” (V, ii, 298-301) Even after the deed is done Iago will not reveal his motive for such evil. His strategy remains secretive throughout the entire play.
It leaves the characters in the play in addition to the reader with an eerie brooding feeling at the end. The only factor that comes to mind is his jealousy of the nobility that the other characters have. It may be that there is no motive however his pure hatred for humankind and if he need to belong of it, he will create a hell for everyone else in it. Iago is the best villain in the sense that he is a real outsider from humankind. You can nearly appreciate him in the reality that he can do such incorrect with definitely no recognition of the damage he has actually caused.
Plus he has the ability to control individuals’s good qualities such as trust and love and use them for his own unethical benefit. It might be that Iago himself does not have any of these excellent qualities so he can not understand goodness or it may be that he is merely envious of the stunning relationships and honorable individuals surrounding him and he has actually had enough. Whatever the reason, Iago deliberately puts himself outside of humankind due to the fact that he is egotistical in nature and feels that he is worthy of to disrespect everyone. Iago as the outsider in Shakespeare’s Othello Shakespeare, William. Othello. New York: Oxford School, 2002.