Iago Is Admired and Despised Simultaneously in Shakespeare's Othello

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In Iago’s soliloquy, Shakespeare masterfully uses language so to encourage the audience to both respect and resent him simultaneously. Although Iago is malevolent and deceitful, his ability to fool others around him leads to a level of respect and admiration in an audience. The language Shakespeare employs in Iago is practical and direct, contrasting to Othello’s heroic and epic speech patterns. This is especially shown through Iago’s use of base and simplistic imagery presented when describing Roderigo as “poor trash of Venice”, causing Iago to appear more relatable than Othello. Through Shakespeare’s use of animal imagery when Iago articulates that he will make Othello “egregiously an ass”, the audience is forced to begrudgingly admire Iago for his astuteness and his ability to warp a situation to his own advantage. This ability is particularly highlighted through Shakespeare’s use of epithet, “make the moor thank me, love me, and reward me”, causing Iago to come across as very persuasive- essentially driving the audience’s intrigue to be focused on him. Therefore, through his basic yet effective language patterns and charismatic persona, Iago enforces a certain level of admiration and respect in his audience.
However, Iago’s malignance and enigmatic character leads to the development of distrust and suspicion in an audience. While Shakespeare does use Iago’s soliloquy to encourage the audience to admire him, the soliloquy also highlights his incredible aptitude for malice. The continued metaphor of Iago’s jealousy being an ailment to him, “doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards” and expressed further on where he vows to give Othello “a jealousy so strong/that judgment cannot cure”, brings a sense of paranoia and mania to him. This paranoid side to Iago is further emphasized when he alleges Othello of having “leaped into my [his] seat”, his
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