Psychoanalytical Perspective Of Othello

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The use of psychoanalytical perspective in order to analyze a literary work enables the reader to examine what motivates the characters. Why they are the way they are and why they do the things they do. In William Shakespeare’s Othello, Iago’s actions are fueled by his hatred of Othello and his resentment of Cassio. Iago is portrayed as the ultimate villain. Iago is furious at Othello for appointing Cassio to the position of personal lieutenant instead of Iago himself. He devises a plan to make Othello believe that his wife Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio. Iago wants to completely destroy all that Othello holds dear. In some ways Iago’s plan works, but not in the way he expects. He manages to make Othello believe in Desdemona’s infidelity which ultimately causes Othello to kill her. Iago tries to kill Cassio but only wounds him. Iago’s wife Emilia tells Othello the truth about Iago’s treachery and Cassio corroborates her story. Othello wounds Iago then kills himself. Iago then kills his wife and is arrested. Iago’s thirst to vengeance backfires on him. He not only played the main role in Othello’s demise, he paved the way for his own. Act I shows the first glimpse into Iago’s character when he tells Roderigo “I am not what I am.”(Shakespeare, 2005, 1.1) He is basically saying that he is not what people think he is. He also seems proud about that fact. Iago’s deep resentment toward Othello is also revealed in this act. The motivation behind the depth of Iago’s hatred and his desire to destroy Othello is more than having been passed over for promotion. It lies in the racial attitudes identified in scene I. When speaking to Barbantio, Desdemona’s father, Iago refers to Othello as “an old black ram who is tupping your white ewe.”(Shakespeare, 2005, 1.1) Iago cannot believe that not only is Othello a highly respected leader of the Venetian forces but that
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