The Motives Of Shakespeare 's Othello Essay

1586 Words Jun 13th, 2016 7 Pages
The Many Motives of Iago Though the play Othello is named after the brave and competent Moorish general bearing the same name, it is not Othello but Iago, Othello’s ensign, that drives the action within the play. Through adept manipulation of his surrounding cast, Iago manages to influence and ultimately direct the events leading up to the death of Desdemona. The play’s name may suggest the hero Othello is the main character, but it is the story of the Antagonist, the master manipulator that has created the most intrigue among critiques of the play over the centuries. Shakespeare masterfully portrays Iago as a man of many faces that in the end refuses to reveal his true self. In doing this Shakespeare refuses to make the play about good and evil, instead leaving his viewers to answer the question, “Why?”, themselves, and over the centuries critics have concluded on a number of motives from pride to homosexuality as being the answer to Iago’s drive. The simplest conclusion as to Iago’s motivation is that Iago was motivated by hatred stemming from a wound to his pride. Iago does after all say as much to roderigo in opening act, “ Despise me, if I do not. Three great ones of the city,/ In personal suit to make me his lieutenant,/Off-capp 'd to him: and, by the faith of man,/I know my price, I am worth no worse a place:/But he; as loving his own pride and purposes,/Evades them, with a bombast circumstance/Horribly stuff 'd with epithets of war”. Whether this is truth, partly…

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