Malignant Iago Of Shakespeare's Othello Essay

1728 words - 7 pages

 
  Pure evil is like a cancerous plague that harms all those who come upon it.  In the tragic play “Othello” by William Shakespeare, Iago is a character that represents pure evil – a malignant cancer to all those around him.  His evil is exposed through his choice of words, his ability to manipulate people, and his opportunistic ways.      

First, Iago’s evil is shown through his choice of words that demonstrate his vulgarity and his sinister intentions.  Iago’s language is extremely base and forward; he does show any remorse or sympathy in any situation.  For example, Desdemona has recently married Othello; when Desdemona’s father, Brabantio, hears the news he becomes enraged.  To make the situation much worse, Iago says to Brabantio, “An old black ram is tupping your white ewe.” (Act 1,sc.i, lines 89-90).   Clearly, Iago shows absolutely no remorse.  He describes the beauty of love between two human beings and compares it to two animals.  He gives Brabantio the impression that Othello is devouring Desdemona; this is seen when Iago describes Othello as an old black ram and Desdemona as a white ewe, black being evil and white being of purity and innocence.  Another example of Iago’s vulgarity is when he once again describes (to Brabantio), the relationship between Desdemona and Othello as, “Making the beast with two backs.” (Act 1, sc.i, line 117).  His base language is shown once again. In this quote he describes making love, as a beast with two backs; this is a description  that is poisonous to the human mind. He is cruel by  telling Brabantio that his daughter is making a beast with Othello in bed; when he speaks of  it,  it is like his heart is made of stone.  His vulgarity expresses his evil nature.

            Also, Iago’s words also express his evil imagery.  His choice of words are very meaningful to his cruel intentions.  An example of  his evil imagery is when he says, “It is engendered.  Hell and night/Must bring this monstrous birth to the worlds light.” (Act 1, sc.iii, lines 396-397).  His voracity is seen in this quote; he calls upon hell and night to give birth to his evil plan.  The way he uses the word, hell and night, associate him with evil which derives from the word devil.  Another example that proves Iago’s evil imagery is when he says, “Divinity of hell!/When devils will the blackest sins put on.” (Act 2,sc.iii, lines 340-341).   In this quote, Iago, once again calls upon hell but this time describes it as divine.  Iago’s sinister thoughts are of evil essence because he calls upon the blackest of sins to aid him in his evil quest.  Thus, Iago’s choice of words prove his sinister intentions; which also

 include his ability to manipulate people.

            Iago’s evil is also demonstrated by his ability to manipulate people and situations through his words and through his actions.  The first victim to fall under Iago’s manipulative spell is the half witted Roderigo.  Iago recognizes that Roderigo is...

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