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One of the most interesting and complex characters in Othello is Honest Iago His manipulative language deceptive nature and the ambiguity surrounding his motives and actions engage the audience from the beginning Although the importance of Othellos tragic flaw is undeniable Iagos coolly manipulative nature plays a definitive part in Othellos downfall He predicts and largely controls other characters actions and is the driving force behind the plays action Iago manipulates Othellos insecurity provoked by the racist Venetian society and it has been argued by critics that Iagos machinations provoke Othellos tragedy Iagos character is established immediately through language he adopts his talk to suit his purposes When conversing with Roderigo he uses blunt prose I follow him to serve my turn upon him conveying his wily nature His vicious tongue indicates the intensity of his hatred when referring to Othello as the Devil However it is possible that he simply manipulates Roderigo through language into becoming his ally Coupled with Shakespeares deliberate use of in media res the ambiguity surrounding Iagos true nature created by Were I the Moor I would not be Iago and I am not what I am arrests the audiences attention Ironically other characters commonly refer to honest Iago and he even describes himself as such again indicating his manipulative nature and the doubt surrounding him That Iago hates Othello is implied immediately Despise me if I do not However in our journalistic age we demand precise answers we search for reasons for his hatred such as jealousy N Stephens declares Iago is a man with a tremendous ego who knows sometimes overestimates his worth whose self-esteem and professional career have been torn apart AC Bradley claims Othellos eminence goodness and Iagos dependence on Othello must have been a perpetual annoyance to him Both agree that Iago is egotistical and extremely jealous of others success He indicates this cause of his jealousy when describing Othellos overruling of three prominent individuals
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