Evil is like a cancerous plague, that does harm upon those who come across it. In the tragic play 'Othello'; by William Shakespeare, Iago is a character that is malignant. His evil is exposed through his choice of words, his ability to manipulate people, and his opportunistic ways. First of all, Iago's evil is shown through his choice of words which demonstrate his vulgarity and his sinister intentions. Iago's language is extremely base and forward; he does show any remorse or sympathy in any situation. For example, Desdemona has recently married Othello; when Desdemona's father, Brabantio, hears the news he becomes enraged.
To make the situation much worse, Iago says to Brabantio, 'An old black ram is t upping your white ewe.' ; (Act 1, sc. i, lines 89-90). Clearly, Iago shows absolutely no remorse. He describes the beauty of love between two human beings and compares it to two animals. He gives Brabantio the impression that Othello is devouring Desdemona; this is seen when Iago describes Othello as an old black ram and Desdemona as a white ewe, black being evil and white being of purity and innocence. Another example of Iago's vulgarity is when he once again describes (to Brabantio), the relationship between Desdemona and Othello as, 'Making the beast with two backs.' ; (Act 1, sc.
i, line 117). His base language is shown once again. In this quote he describes making love, as a beast with two backs; this is a description that is poisonous to the human mind. He is cruel by telling Brabantio that his daughter is making a beast with Othello in bed; when he speaks of it, it is like his heart is made of stone. His vulgarity expresses his evil nature. Also, Iago's words also express his evil imagery.
His choice of words are very meaningful to his cruel intentions. An example of his evil imagery is when he says, 'It is engendered. Hell and night/Must bring this monstrous birth to the worlds light.' ; (Act 1, sc. iii, lines 396-397).
His voracity is seen in this quote; he calls upon hell and night to give birth to his evil plan. The way he uses the word, hell and night, associate him with evil which derives from the word devil. Another example that proves Iago's evil imagery is when he says, 'Divinity of hell! /When devils will the blackest sins put on.' ; (Act 2, sc. iii, lines 340-341). In this quote, Iago, once again calls upon hell but this time describes it as divine.
Iago's sinister thoughts are of evil essence because he calls upon the blackest of sins to aid him in his evil quest. Thus, Iago's choice of words prove his sinister intentions; which also include his ability to manipulate people. Furthermore, Iago's evil is demonstrated by his ability to manipulate people and situations through his words and through his actions. The first victim to fall under Iago's manipulative spell is the half witted Roderigo. Iago recognizes that Roderigo is consumed by lust for Desdemona and would go to the extremes to make her his own. Iago convinces Roderigo that the only way to win Desdemona's heart is to give her money; '...
Put money in thy purse... .' ; (Act 1, sc. iii, line 339). However, Iago is able to manipulate Roderigo's infatuation and make himself a profit by taking the money intended for Desdemona and keeping it to himself.
'Thus do I ever make my fool my purse.' ; (Act 1, sc. iii, line 376). In this quote Roderigo is referred to as a fool for not realizing what is being done to him. By playing on Roderigo's hopes, Iago is able to swindle money and use Roderigo to further his other goals. Another example of Iago's ability to manipulate a situation is when he says, 'So I will turn her virtue into pitch, /And out of her own goodness make net/That shall enmesh them all.' ; (Act 2, sc. iii, lines 350-352).
During this scene Cassio had already been stripped of his ranking; Iago tells Cassio to talk to Desdemona and to try to convince Othello to get him his job back. This is where Iago begins to manipulate the situation by coming up with a plan to turn her virtue into pitch; meaning that her honesty and goodness will be used against her to further his goals. Iago's ability to manipulate people and situations with words make him a sinister villain. Also, Iago's ability to manipulate people and situations through actions demonstrate his evil.
Iago orchestrates the outcome of situations by placing things in specific places. An example of this is when Iago plan's to place Desdemona's handkerchief in Cassio's lodge; this is seen when Iago says, 'I will in Cassio's lodging lose this napkin, /And let him find it'; (Act 3, sc. iii, lines 318-319). This quote is significant because having the handkerchief in Cassio's possession gives Othello proof that Desdemona has been unfaithful. Othello's mind has already been poisoned by Iago; 'The Moor already changes with my poison'; (Act 3, sc.
iii, line 323). Iago's ability to manipulate people and situations make him a villainous individual. Finally, another example of Iago's ability to manipulate a situation is when he says to Othello, 'Bade him anon return and speak with me, ... Do but en cave yourself, /And mark the fleets, the gibes and notable scorns... For I will make him tell the tale anew, /Where, how, how oft, how long ago, and when/He hath, and is again, to cope your wife.' ; (Act 4, sc. i, lines 80-86).
Aside 'Now I will question Cassio of Bianca.' ; (Act 4, sc. i, line 93). This quote reveals Iago's great ability to manipulate people. In this quote, Iago tells Othello that when Cassio arrives he question him about Desdemona.
When Othello leaves the scene, Iago's scheme is revealed; being that he will actually question Cassio concerning Bianca and not involving Desdemona at all. Placing Othello a distance where he will hear Cassio's tale of Bianca will completely enrage Othello; by doing so Iago is able to manipulate this situations through his actions. Thus, Iago's sinister nature is demonstrated by manipulative ways and his ability to see opportunity. Finally, Iago's evil is shown when takes the opportunity to abuse people's trust and is quick to think when something unexpected occurs. Trust is a very powerful emotion that can be easily abused. Othello's trust in Iago is shown when Othello say's, 'I know thou " rt full of love and honesty.' ; (Act 3, sc.
iii, line 115). Keeping this in mind, Iago, takes advantage and poison's Othello's mind with the idea that Desdemona is cheating on him with Cassio. An example of Iago abusing Othello's trust is when Iago says, 'Work on, /My medicine, work! Thus credulous fools are caught,' ; (Act 4, sc. i, lines 44-45). In this quote, Othello has fallen into a seizure and ironically Iago refers to his poison as medicine; where instead of curing Othello, it is plaguing his mind, soul and body. Iago also says that Othello is a 'fool'; because he has Othello's trust and is taking full advantage of it.
Othello's trust in Iago is so great that Iago is able to craft ideas in his head while not implicating himself; making Iago a clever villain. Iago also takes advantage of the trust that Cassio bears to him. Cassio's trust is shown when he says, 'Good night, honest Iago.' ; (Act 2, sc. iii, line 325).
This quote shows that Iago is considered by Cassio, an honest man. Iago abuses his trust and deceives him by plotting to get him drunk so he can eventually be stripped of his rankings; Iago says, 'I to put our Cassio in some action/That may offend the isle.' ; (Act 2, sc. iii, lines 56-57). In this quote Iago is talking to Roderigo and is informing him that in order to have him stripped of his honor he must provoke him to cause trouble on the island.
Once again Iago abuses the trust of his victim; Cassio has no idea that his 'honest Iago'; is plotting against him. Also, Iago is quick to think and is able to improvise when something unexpected occurs. When Cassio takes hold of Desdemona's hand before the arrival of Othello, Iago says, 'With as little web as this I will ensnare as a great a fly as Cassio.' ; (Act 2, sc. i, lines 165-166).
Iago is so clever, that even with such a small and irrelevant incident he can alter it so it can become a web to trap all those in it's path; this is the idea that advances the plot until the end of the play. Iago's opportunistic ability allows him to make a plan to degrade Othello for not ranking him lieutenant. Finally, another example of Iago's cleverness when something unexpected occurs is when; Roderigo poorly attempts to kill Cassio and is injured, Iago then kills Roderigo so he could save himself from getting caught. Roderigo says, 'O damned Iago! O inhuman dog!' ; (Act 5, sc. i, line 62). In his dying words, Roderigo finally realizes what kind of person Iago really is; an inhuman dog.
Iago is quick to act so things could go as planned. Iago did not want to get caught for his treachery so he killed Roderigo. Iago used people like tools; his ability to see opportunity put those tools into use, and when he had no more use for them, they were disposed of. Thus, Iago's evil is demonstrated when he takes advantage of people's trust and when he is quick to think when something unexpected occurs. In conclusion, Iago's evil is demonstrated by his choice of words, his manipulative ways, and by his ability to see opportunity.
Hence, in the play 'Othello,' ; by William Shakespeare, Iago is a malignant character. Sinister thoughts implicate devious thoughts and evil intentions.