The Motivation Of Iago In Shakespeare's Othello

522 Words3 Pages
In the tragedy Othello, Iago is the most complex and interesting character, and many of his words and actions hint that he may not actually be what he tries to convey to the audience. Iago goes through great pains to completely ruin Othello’s life over what seem to be particularly trivial events. In the beginning of the play Iago attempts to justify his plot for revenge by discussing his anger about being passed over for a promotion by Othello. This motivation is explained briefly and vaguely and his true motivation for destroying the moor still seems unclear. Overall Iago seems to scorn Othello over his general rejection of him. Based on many of Iago’s strange words and actions, especially in scene three, Iago seems to be in love or at least sexually drawn to Othello. Interestingly enough,…show more content…
Iago’s vagueness about his motivation to ruin Othello, his hatred of women, his strange lie about Cassio kissing him, and his romantic speech towards Othello, all point to his repressed homosexuality and love towards the moor. In the opening scene of the play, Iago tells Roderigo of how Othello had chosen Michael Cassio to be promoted to lieutenant rather than him. When Roderigo expresses how he would react in Iago’s place, Iago oddly enough seems to dismiss it. Roderigo claims that he “rather would have been his hangman” and in return Iago says that “there’s no remedy; ‘tis the curse of service.” Roderigo offers that he “would not follow him then” and again Iago excuses it and says “I follow him to serve my turn upon him: / We cannot all be masters, nor all masters / Cannot be truly follow’d.” Twice in this scene he lengthily criticizes the moor, only to contradict himself and excuse the situation when Roderigo agrees with him. His motivation to hate Othello is feeble and unconvincing, and his attitude
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