This essay has a total of 770 words and 4 pages.
One of the most interesting and exotic characters in the tragic play "Othello," by William Shakespeare, is "Honest" Iago. At first glance, Iago seems to be the essence of "motiveless malignity." However, despite Iago's unquestionable malignancy, the motivation behind his actions lie more in Iago's quest for personal gain, as opposed to just being evil for evil's sake. Iago's rapacity can be validated by examining his manipulation of Roderigo, Cassio and, most importantly, Othello.
Iago's main interest is the destruction of Othello. The reason being that Othello has chosen another man, Cassio, as his second-in-command, preferring him to Iago. This resentment, accompanied by Iago's fabricated accusations of adultery and his blatant racism, cause Iago to despise the kindly moor, and shortly thereafter, begin to conspire against him. Because Iago is much too smart to immediately kill Othello, he proceeds with the arduous process of dismantling him emotionally. Iago also knows that he must distance himself from any of the harrowing occurrences that transpire, so he cleverly gets other people to do his dirty work.
The first to fall victim to Iago's illiberal manipulation, is the half-witted Roderigo. Iago knows Roderigo is consumed by lust for Desdemona, and would do anything to make her his own. Iago tells Roderigo that the only way to win Desdemona's love, is to make money to procure gifts for her. "...put money in thy purse.." (Act 1, Scene 3, Line 339). However, Iago is just taking those gifts intended for Desdemona and keeping them for himself, and in doing so, making a substantial profit. "Thus do I ever make my fool my purse" (Act 1, Scene 3, Line 376). Roderigo eventually starts to question Iago's honesty. When faced with this accusation, Iago simply offers that killing Cassio will aid his cause and the asinine Roderigo falls for it. "I have no great devotion to the deed / And yet he has given me satisfying reason," (Act 5, Scene 1, Line 8). In doing this, Iago keeps Roderigo in the dark and continues to profit from him monetarily. Roderigo is also used as a device in both Cassio and Othello's downfall. Iago's actions demonstrate his monetary and puissance based motivations, invalidating the claim that Iago is evil for evil's sake.
Cassio, like Roderigo
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