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Dustin Mills English 102 Dr Elisabeth Sachs Othello Essay Honest Iago One of the most interesting and exotic characters in the tragic play Othello by William Shakespeare is honest Iago At first Iago seems to be motiveless However the motivation behind his actions lie more in Iagos quest for personal gain as opposed to just being evil for evils sake Iagos greediness can be validated by examining his manipulation of Roderigo Cassio and most importantly Othello Iagos 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 Iagos accusations of adultery and his blatant racism cause Iago to despise the kindly moor Because Iago is much too smart to immediately kill Othello he proceeds with the arduous process of dismantling him emotionally Iago also knows he must distance himself from any part of this so he cleverly gets someone to do his dirty work The first to fall victim to Iagos manipulation is half-witted Roderigo Iago knows Roderigo is consumed by lust for Desdemona and would do what it takes to make her his own Iago tells Roderigo that the only way to win Desdemonas love is to make money to procure gifts for her Put money in thy purseact I scene 3 line 339 However Iago is just taking those gifts intended for Desdemona and keeping them for himself and making a profit Roderigo eventually starts to question Iagos honesty When faced with the accusations Iago simply offers that the killing of Cassio will aid in his cause and Roderigo falls for it 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 Othellos downfall Iagos actions demonstrate his monetary and power based motivations invalidating the claim that Iago is evil for evils sake Cassio like Roderigo
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