Shakespeare's Iago: A Most Infamous Sociopath

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IAGO...A Most Infamous Sociopath The world of William Shakespeare was one of mystery and fear. Much about the stars, the Earth and the creatures that inhabit it was unknown. When good things happened, the cause was God’s grace; when bad things happened, or when people acted badly, the cause must surely then be the Devil. Some Shakespearean scholars theorize that in the epic tragedy “Othello”, the villain Iago, may actually be Satan represented in human form. Surely, that is not the case. Clearly a student of human nature, Shakespeare, rather than easily ascribing one man’s evil to the realm of the demonic, accurately detailed what we recognize today as the evil of a dangerous sociopathic human mind. A sociopath is defined as, “a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience”.("sociopath,") Modern psychology today has been able to further define the mental illnesses of a sociopath to include APD (Antisocial Personality Disorder) and NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder). Iago exhibits all of the characteristics of a person suffering from APD and NPD in detail.…show more content…
Most APD sufferers can be quite charming and intelligent, though their relationships tend to be contentious, and difficult to maintain. They exhibit irritability and aggressiveness, act impulsively and show no remorse or feelings of guilt. APD is the disorder most closely correlated with violent crime.(Burton) NPD is characterized as a person with “an extreme feeling of self-importance, a sense of entitlement, and a need to be admired… He lacks empathy and readily exploits others to achieve his aims. To others, he may seem self-absorbed, controlling, intolerant, selfish, or insensitive. If he feels obstructed or ridiculed, he can fly into a fit of destructive anger and revenge.”(Burton,

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