Iago As A Satan Figure In Shakespeare's Othello

1471 words - 6 pages

Iago as a Satan Figure in Othello

 
   The play "Othello" by William Shakespeare is based on an Italian story in Giraldi Cinthio's Hecatommithi (Groliers). In "Othello" we encounter Iago, one of Shakespeare's most evil characters.  Iago is an ensign in Othello's army and is jealous of Cassio's promotion to Lieutenant. Through deception and appearance, we see unfolded a plethora of lies and clever schemes. The astonishing thing about Iago is that he seems to make up his malicious schemes as he goes along without any forethought. Noted writer Samuel Taylor Coleridge describes Iago's plan as "motive-hunting of a motiveless malignity" (Scott 413). Iago seizes every opportunity to further advance his plan to his advantage. Greed plays a major role as a motive for his various schemes. Throughout the story, Iago portrays himself as a Satan figure. In many ways, Iago can compare with Satan.

 

            Iago, like Satan, has proved himself to be a master at deception. He lies to everyone taking great care to disguise his own thoughts. For example, in Act 1, scene 2, when he is speaking to Othello about his feelings toward Cassio, he uses very strong language of a manly soldier, while at the same time, he lies throughout the whole speech faking loyalty to a fellow soldier and all the while implying that he is reluctantly holding back the full truth: "I had rather have this tongue cut from my mouth/ Than it should do offense to Michael Cassio" (I.ii.21-22). This deception impresses and convinces Othello that his ensign is a good and loyal soldier. Iago also succeeds in deceiving Cassio. After Cassio's drunken fight, Iago counsels him to speak to Desdimona about trying to convince Othello to reinstate him as lieutenant, all the while knowing that this will only prove helpful to his plan of having Othello see him with Desdimona. Cassio answers him: "You advise me well. . . Goodnight, honest Iago" (II.iii.332/340). Thus, even Cassio is capable of being deceived by Iago. With all of this deception, it is a wonder that Iago is not Satan himself. He even gives an account to his plan of deception, in a soliloquy, in Act II. In comparing himself with Satan, he says:

 

When devils will the blackest sins put on/ They do suggest at first with heavenly shows,/ As I do now: for whiles this honest fool/ Plies Desdimona to repair his fortunes/

And she for him pleads strongly to the Moor,/ I'll pour this pestilence into his ear. . . (II.iii.301-306)

 

Iago describes how Satan uses the appearance of something good to disguise the various temptations that we know are evil. He then tells how he will do the same; that while Cassio is begging Desdimona to tell Othello to take him back, Iago then will start his destructive scheme. Satan also deceives by lying and twisting the truth. When he told Eve in the garden of Eden: "surely you will not die" (Gen.3:4), he twisted the truth to deceive her. The apostle John calls him the ultimate liar:...

Find Another Essay On Iago as a Satan Figure in Shakespeare's Othello

Iago in William Shakespeare's Othello Essay

1219 words - 5 pages Iago in William Shakespeare's Othello William Shakespeare, born: 1564 died: 1616, is considered one of the greatest writers who has ever lived. He had a unique way of putting things into words. All of his plays, sonnets, and poems have gotten great recognition. But when Shakespeare wrote Othello he created one of the most controversial villains of all times; Iago. He is best described as disturbing, ruthless, and amoral. No other character

Iago in William Shakespeare's Othello Essay

2559 words - 10 pages Iago in William Shakespeare's Othello Iago has many motives for destroying the other characters in the play. One of these is jealousy. Iago is jealous of Othello, Desdemona, Cassio and even his own wife, Emilia. He is jealous of Othello for many reasons. Iago wants the power and the respect that Othello has. We see this in Act 2 scene 1 where Iago says ‘the moor- howbeit I endure him not- is of a constant, loving, noble

Iago is Portrayed as the Greater Villain in Shakespeare's Othello

1466 words - 6 pages Othello. Furthermore, even here we see the immense control Iago has over Othello. Iago had a major but secret input in the fight between Montano and Cassio, yet, he was the one who was charged to speak by Othello as to who started the fight, which is quite ironic: “Who began this? On thy love. I charge thee.” Othello refers to Iago as “Honest Iago”. Iago has a lot of influence over Othello. However, Othello is shown to be quite fair as he does

Iago as Puppet Master of Shakespeare's Othello

1752 words - 7 pages Iago as Puppet Master of Othello     In act 3, scene 3 of Shakespeare’s Othello, Iago works in stages to convince Othello that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio, Othello’s right-hand lieutenant. The strategy Iago implements to attain his goal can be compared with a person who is about to undergo a lethal injection. In this instance Iago is the doctor who administers the poison and Othello is the convicted prisoner. However, there

Othello and Iago in William Shakespeare's Play

3666 words - 15 pages Othello and Iago in William Shakespeare's Play Othello, the main character in the play is married to Desdemona. At the start of the play Othello is seen as evil and bad by all the other characters and the audience. Brobantio (Desdemona's father), dislikes Othello very much at the start of the play. This is because Othello married Desdemona without her father's consent and Brobantio thinks Othello has used black magic to

The Character of Iago in Shakespeare's Othello

1655 words - 7 pages .  Included in a text written by Stephen Greenblatt, Roderigo and Barbanizo believed that "Othello used magic to win Desdemona."(Norton Shakespeare, pp. 2091).  You also see many references in the play where a character will refer to Othello as being a devil or beast.             It was no secret to the reader of the play that Iago possessed a hatred for Othello.  In fact, in act one of the plays the reader sees hints of Iago's racial prejudice

'Iago the Chameleon' in Shakespeare's 'Othello'

666 words - 3 pages gentleman, with higher standards and morals than Iago, gets played into doing his deeds. Roderigo is an obsequious and sycophantic type of a person. He has a lot of money and is very gullible to such a slippery and devious mastermind such as Iago.Iago, as said earlier, wants revenge from Othello for his choice of a Florentine for his lieutenant. We see that Iago starts devising his plan in Act 1, Scene 3 in a soliloquy just before Act 3. He quotes

Iago of William Shakespeare's Othello

886 words - 4 pages Iago of William Shakespeare's Othello There are many examples of animal imagery throughout Shakespeare's Othello that are used by the characters in the play both innocently and with the intent to cause harm. Shakespeare uses imagery in Othello to emphasize several of the themes that are found in the play, including reality vs. appearance and good vs. evil. The imagery of people as beasts is strongly introduced in the

Malignant Iago of Shakespeare's Othello

1728 words - 7 pages ).  In this quote, Othello has fallen into a seizure and ironically Iago refers to his poison as medicine; where instead of curing Othello, it is plaguing his mind, soul and body.  Iago also says that Othello is a “fool” because he has Othello’s trust and is taking full advantage of it.  Othello’s trust in  Iago is so great that Iago is able to craft ideas in his head while not implicating himself; making Iago a clever villain.   Iago also takes

Iago of William Shakespeare's Othello

1337 words - 5 pages Iago of William Shakespeare's Othello Iago has a great understanding of people and how they will react to different situations and this skill allows him to control the action so neatly that it as if is he himself is the playwright. He has no regard for the thoughts of others and skilfully manipulates those around him to trick them to play a part in a strategy he has so meticulously planned, for example, the brawl scene

Villainous Iago of Shakespeare's Othello

1908 words - 8 pages )   Iago is the “perfect” bad guy in the sense that his type is just what the audience of 400 years ago expected. Louis B. Wright and Virginia A. LaMar in “The Engaging Qualities of Othello” comment on how the character of Iago is the wholly expected type of villain for an Elizabethan audience:    Iago at once captures the attention of the spectator. He is the personification of the villain that Elizabethans had come to expect from

Similar Essays

Iago As Expert Manipulator In Shakespeare's Othello

1080 words - 4 pages Iago as Expert Manipulator in Othello        In Othello, by William Shakespeare, the character of Iago cleverly and skillfully alters the appearance of reality within certain characters minds that are clouded by emotion. While Iago does deceive both Cassio and Roderigo, the most vulnerable character to Iago's treachery appears to be Othello. By being a good director and manipulator of emotions and intentions, Iago carries out his plan to

Iago As Evil In William Shakespeare's Othello

1840 words - 7 pages Iago as Evil in William Shakespeare's Othello "Othello" is famously regarded as one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies. It explores the downfall of a great general Othello through a series of unlucky circumstances. Othello's character shows a man of high status whose job, marriage and life is ruined because of his insecurities by a man named Iago. Iago (Othello's ensign) is able to manipulate Othello, Othello's wife

Iago In Shakespeare's Othello Essay

1727 words - 7 pages William Shakespeare's Othello is a remarkable tale of trust, deceitfulness, lust and the most destructive of human emotions: vengeance and hatred. Iago better known as Othello's antagonist embodies vengeance and hatred to move an agenda to squash all who oppose Iago's plans. As defined by Merrium-Webster the definition of a protagonist is a principal character in a literary work or a leading actor, character, or participant in a literary work

Iago In William Shakespeare's Othello Essay

1543 words - 6 pages Iago in William Shakespeare's Othello Works Cited Missing In Shakespeare's drama 'Othello', the reader is presented a tragedy of characters deeply affected by the clash of good and evil. The evil contained within Othello is by no means magical or mythical yet is represented by the character Iago. Iago has no
Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji: Kazuyahen | 27.08.1100:00 Uhr Die Drei Fragezeichen-F148 Und Die Feurige Flut Sonstiges192 kbit/s 10 / 121.848 Hits VID P2P DDL 0 Kommentare | HD Down for the Count (2009)