Iago's Motive

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Iago’s Motive Possibly the greatest villain in Shakespearean history is Iago. He is ruthless, fascinating, and a powerful character able to manipulate those around him easily. He does not only act upon his evil intentions, he also speaks them in his numerous soliloquies. While Iago is quite crude in his language he surprisingly uses the word “love” five times in his soliloquy at the end of Act II scene 1. While contemplating his plan, he says, “That Cassio loves her, I do well believe it; / That she loves him, ‘tis apt and of great credit: / The Moor, howbeit that I endure him not, / Is of a constant, loving, noble nature; / And I dare think he’ll prove to Desdemona/ A most dear husband. Now, I do love her too…“ (II.i.294-299). “Make the Moor thank me, love me, and reward me…” (II.i.316). These lines show that Iago’s plan is based on unresolved feelings about love that even he is not aware of fully. Iago’s desires for other men have never been admitted into existence as Iago himself worked hard not to as seen in this quote from Act I scene 3 “Virtue? A fig! ‘Tis in ourselves that we are thus or / thus. Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are / gardeners; so that if we will plant nettles or sow lettuce, / set hyssop and weep up thyme, supply it with one gender of / herbs or distract it with many, either to have it sterile with / idleness or manured with industry –why, the power and / corrigible authority of this lies in our wills. If the balance / of our lives had not one scale of reason to poise another / of sensuality, the blood and baseness of our natures would / conduct us to most preposterous conclusions…” (I.iii.339-348). Iago’s true motive for harassing Othello is his homosexual desire for him, a desire that he cannot control, so he makes due by destroying the person he loves. Shortly in the beginning of the play, Iago makes crude
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