Task#4_ Othello/ IAGO. EGO.

First of all, when it comes to the tactics of Iago to deceive Othello, he mostly used #2 and #5 from the ‘Tim Keller’s methods of temptation.’ :

  1. presenting the hook before the bait (elevating benefits, diminishing adverse consequences)
  2. rationalizing sin as virtue (In Paradise Lost Eve eats the fruit courageously)
  3. show the sins of respected leaders (if they did it, I can too)
  4. over-stressing mercy (I’ll be forgiven)
  5. cultivating bitterness for suffering (self-pity)
  6. presenting the benefits to a sinful life (showing evil people who are happier)
  7. getting you to compare one part of your life to another (I’m good in other areas, I can afford to fall here)


By giving impression of Desdemona’s evil figures, -such as monster, sheep, etc- Iago simply implants the idea of justice in the murder for Othello.  Moreover, when Othello is in great jealousy of the affair of Cassio and Desdemona, Iago quickly turns his attention to Cassio to bring him up secretly in front of Othello, and confess his fake love towards the woman, (Bianca, where Othello believes as Desdemona .)

Most of all, jealously indeed grew in Othello’s heart, drove him to the miserable end. Personally, I did see his suicide was coming, but then I noticed the previous quotes from task #3 were right and clear as a diamond.

>>-Jealousy is indeed a poor medium to secure love, but it is a secure medium to destroy one’s self-respect.
Emma Goldman
-In jealousy there is more of self-love than love.
François de La Rochefoucauld<<

Yes, Iago is a evil character, and he is the one who implanted the misery inside. But is he to blame? Perhaps, the reason why people could not find the reason or motivation from his evilness is because the misery itself did not grew from Iago but from Othello. My theory could be explained: though there were not many of description about Othello’s true adventures or position, he is quite in the top position of power in the plot. He probably is the character who respect the work of power and the victory of the battle. Love betrayal, is then, the measure of his power and royalty. Moreover, the picture of Cuckold explains the degradation in power of men, when betrayed by true love. He himself thought about and agonized of himself too much. He even has lines (two-three, which means the theme of the character/ probability of the characteristic) ‘doubting’ his own being, or to say, “the power, the position.” Thus, where in the earth does a man kill his wife, in great jealousy, but not even caring once of how he loved her? His last line after his murder is “Not dead? Not quite dead yet?”. It is clear that he himself loved Othello too much.

On the other, as well as Desdemona’s trick in her name, I saw a trick in Iago’s name too. The ‘Ego.’ Ego, is the utmost motivation where the evil comes, but also where the opportunity comes from. Humans work harder to fulfill our ego, and this does not die easily. Likewise, Shakespeare shares his observation of Ego and its temptation and opportunity through Iago. He shares the irony too, where everyone died at the end, and Iago is the only one to speak till’ the end. It is very interesting, and I think I could carefully apply this idea to the next novel, “Crime and Punishment.”


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