CHARACTER MOTIVATIONS IN OTHELLO

Iago: General Motivations  Iago gives three main reasons for his hatred of Othello o Being passed over for a promotion in favour of the younger, less experienced Cassio. o Suspicion of Othello having slept with his wife. o Hating the inherent “goodness” within Othello.  However these reasons seem insufficient and we cannot fully trust his justifications, and his hatred is unexplainable.  Ironic that Iago uses jealousy to destroy Othello’s life, when jealousy is likely the cause of Iago’s original hatred.  Soliloquies give us insight into Iago’s motives and allow us to understand the subtext beneath his superficially innocent words.

Othello: General Motivations  Iago can manipulate Othello’s gullible and jealous trait to make him jealous and become more and more suspicious of Desdemona until he will never have peace of mind again.

Other characters are gay and aren’t worth my time

Passage One Iago’s motivation for putting Othello “into a jealousy so strong that judgement cannot cure” is primarily revenge for Othello having wronged him in two ways. The reason given in this passage is that he suspects Othello has slept with his wife, Emilia. He is not completely sure this is true; however he plots to destroy Othello’s happiness regardless. This flimsy reasoning suggests that this is not the real reason for his anger towards Othello. Furthermore, earlier on in the

and correctly predicts its results “Trifles. We know now that his words. yet jealousy is likely the source of Iago's hatred in the first place. light as air are to the jealous confirmations”. gnaw my inwards”. “Knavery’s plain face is never seen till used”. “like a poisonous mineral. This is likely because he understands first-hand the destruction jealousy can cause. Iago addresses this directly in his last line of the soliloquy. It is ironic that Iago uses jealousy against Othello. in being passed over for promotion for a younger and inexperienced Cassio. The fact that Iago unfolds his plan to us in a soliloquy means that we gain insight to his motives in his words and actions towards the other characters in the play. He demonstrates his knowledge of jealousy many times throughout the play. using poison imagery.play Iago gives a completely different reason for his anger. are all part of his plot which adds significant dramatic irony to all his actions. This imagery is repeated throughout the play and we come to associate it with Iago and his methods of manipulation. . The fact that Iago lists two incompatible reasons for his hatred means that we as the audience cannot fully trust his justifications. which would superficially sound innocent.

The fact that Iago unfolds his plan to us in a soliloquy means that we gain insight to his motives in his words and actions towards the other characters in the play. which is reinforced by the fact that he recognises the evil in his plan by using religious contradictions “Divinity of hell!” and religious imagery “When devils will the blackest sins put on they do suggest at first with heavenly shows”. This imagery is repeated throughout the play and we come to associate it with Iago and his methods of manipulation. Iago’s hating of goodness points towards his evil nature. yet jealousy is likely the source of Iago's hatred in the first place. using poison imagery. He demonstrates his knowledge of jealousy many times throughout the play. We know now that his words. Iago unfolds the specifics of his plan to manipulate Desdemona. and his suspicion of Othello sleeping with his wife. which is merely a rumour yet he decides to act on it anyway) are seemingly insufficient justification for the level of loathing he has for Othello. These are his being passed over for a promotion for the younger and less experienced Cassio. Desdemona and Othello and because of this he shall “enmesh them all”. and correctly predicts its results “Trifles. It is ironic that Iago uses jealousy against Othello. . In this passage he tells us that he detests the inherent goodness in Cassio. Before this soliloquy he gives two main reasons for his hatred of Othello and desire for revenge. Both these reasons (especially the latter.Passage Two In this soliloquy. We can see his glee in the line “So will I turn her virtue into pitch”. light as air are to the jealous confirmations”. which would superficially sound innocent. are all part of his plot which adds significant dramatic irony to all his actions. He also seems to be pushed forward by his enjoyment of the power and control he has in manipulating the other characters and driving the action of the play. This is likely because he understands first-hand the destruction jealousy can cause. “I’ll pour this pestilence into his ear”. Cassio and Othello for Othello’s downfall.

We also know that he enjoys his influence over Othello and his mischievous and manipulative nature also pushes him forward in his plans. We can see how manipulative he is as he subtly attacks Othello’s racial insecurity “Not to affect many proposed matches of her own clime. At this point in the play Othello is becoming quite troubled by his own jealousy. “Why did I marry”. We can see that he is suspicious of Desdemona as he asks for her to be watched. This is reinforced by his questioning his marriage. as up to this point he has given three very different and very insufficient justifications for his hatred and desire for revenge. These are his being passed over for a promotion for the younger and less experienced Cassio. His motives throughout the play are seemingly ambiguous.Passage 3 In this passage Iago continues to plant the idea of Desdemona’s unfaithfulness in Othello’s mind. This . However what we do know is that Iago carries a deep hatred of Othello that drives him and his plot to destroy the Moor’s life. his suspicion of Othello sleeping with his wife. complexion and degree”. and his general disdain for the inherent goodness in Othello.

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