“Psychologically Iago is a slighted man, powerfully possessed by hatred against a master who (as he thinks) has kept him down, and by envy for a man he despises’ who has been promoted over him” Is this statement true? Is Iago a slighted man? Is he possessed by hatred for Othello? Yes, he is. Iago is consumed with envy and hatred. He plans to do anything in order to get revenge but it is not as though Iago has to push his conscience away in order to commit the sins he did. Iago simply has no conscience.
Our first impression of Iago is that he appears to be pure evil. When Iago explains to Roderigo that he hates Othello and is only pretending to be loyal to him we see how truly amoral he is. Iago implies that he is proud of his hate for Othello and is willing to deceive and kill the people close to him in order to get his way. The characters in the play believe that Iago is a friendly and “honest man, but we, as the audience are aware of Iago’s plans, shown to us through soliloquies and even though we are aware of this, we are also drawn to like him.
In a way Iago can also be viewed as the devil, in the sense that despite his evil plans he still makes us like him, as the devil makes many evil acts appealing to us. Iago obviously has a goal to get rid of Desdemona and Cassio but it appears that he does not have a specific plan. Fortune is in Iago’s favour, but eventually it betrays him. This happens when Emilia betrays Iago in the bedroom after Desdemona is killed. It appears that there is not a very strong tie of love between the husband and wife. Emilia is Iago’s tool and essentially his attitude towards her exposes his plan.
When Emilia gave Iago the handkerchief her loyalties were to Iago but as she puts the pieces of Iago’s plan together in her mind she realises, through her opinions of men that her loyalty is not to Iago or any man but to the facts. By knowing the truth and explaining it to the people that can bring Iago down she not only deceives her husband but also realises in herself that she has done the right thing, even when it results in her death Iago’s initial reaction to his plan being displayed was to tell Emilia “hold your peace. ", in other words to be quiet. When she refused he calls her a “Villainous whore! and claims that she is lying.
Once the story has been told Iago kills Emilia and he says “Demand me nothing. What you know, you know. From this time forth I never will speak word. ” This is a very important quote in the play as Iago has always been more than willing to explain himself but now that he is defeated he is quiet. It is possible that he cannot think of another lie but we know that Iago whole scheme began because he is power hunger so perhaps he vows not to speak to hold some form of power over the other characters. Did Iago’s failing scheme change who he is or the views he holds?
Well right from the beginning we know that he was evil and power hungry and throughout the play he gains some form of power over many of the characters in the story. Even in the end of the story Iago appears to have some tiny form of power. Also there is no doubt that Iago is evil, not once through the play did Iago do an honest deed. Iago definitely did not change throughout the play. In conclusion, Iago is for sure a slighted man. Iago’s motives for the crimes he committed were bred from by hatred against a master who has kept him down, and by envy for a man he despises’ who has been promoted over him