Iago is often considered Shakespeare’s most cruel and evil character. In Othello, he takes cruelty to a whole new level. Iago is not content with simply harming his enemies; he wants to destroy them completely.
Iago’s cruelty is on full display in his treatment of Othello. He manipulates Othello into believing that his wife, Desdemona, has been unfaithful. This causes Othello to lose all reason and eventually leads to his downfall. Iago even goads Othello into murdering Desdemona, knowing full well that she is innocent.
Shakespeare creates a truly villainous character in Iago. His skillful manipulation and callous disregard for human life make him a master of cruelty. Othello would be a far different play without Iago’s malevolent presence.
Iago is the finest of Shakespeare’s bad guys since he combines acute and subtle cruelty with tremendous willpower and intellect. As a result of this, his reasons remain obscure; nevertheless, Iago’s good, loyal, and honest character does not represent his real nature. He is the ultimate manipulator. Every move is meticulously laid out in advance so that others may believe he is a trustworthy decent person. Iago has such mental acuity and talent that he forces others to do his bidding by putting them in touch with their emotions.
Othello, a great general and warrior is destroyed by his own good qualities. Othello is too trusting, which allows Iago to deceive him. Othello is also a man of action, who when angered reacts immediately without thinking things through, which often leads to disastrous consequences. Othello’s tragic flaw is that he is too trusting and impulsive, which allows Iago to manipulate him.
He is not trusted, but he has a good reputation. He provides the same value to others that they want him to believe he has. Others see him as what he wants them to think he is rather than who he truly is. Iago employs three primary tools for wreaking havoc on everyone: reputation, desire, and jealousy. A strong reputation is the most essential virtue in this play’s characters’ lives. Their high position in society is defined by their family heritage and how they employ it. Iago exploits this as a vulnerability since lie after lie after lie are disseminated about others in order to destroy their reputations.
Othello, Emilia, and Desdemona all have their reputations ruined by Iago through his skilful manipulation. Othello is perhaps the most tragic because he values his honour above everything else.
Iago also understands and knows how to exploit human desire. He uses this to his advantage when he suggests to Othello that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona. Othello’s main desires are for power and control and Iago knows just how to make him lose control by making him think that his wife is unfaithful. Jealousy is another one of Iago’s weapons. He stokes Othello’s jealousy until it becomes all-consuming and Othello is consumed by thoughts of revenge.
Iago is a master of cruelty because he is able to so expertly exploit the weaknesses of others. He is a manipulator and a liar, and he uses these skills to destroy the lives of those around him. Othello, Emilia, and Desdemona all fall victim to his machinations, and their lives are forever changed as a result.
Iago was so well-liked that everyone sought his guidance and he took advantage of these moments to influence their views and opinions. Iago notes, “A good name in man or woman, dear my lord, is the instant jewel of their souls. “ (Othello Act III. iii. 182-183.) In the case of Cassio, one way Iago exploits others position of strength is by using it against them. Othello, a Moorish commander in the Venetian army who is seeking for a second in command, has an opening for a second in command early on in the narrative.
Iago who already holds the position of Othello’s ensign, goes to Othello and tells him that he believes Cassio would be a better second. Othello then gives the position to Cassio which immediately makes Iago jealous. Iago then starts to spread rumors that Cassio is having an affair with Othello’s wife, Desdemona.
Othello begins to believe these lies and eventually Iago gets Othello to stripCassio of his rank. When Othello does this it destroys Cassio’s reputation and honor. Because of this Othello is able to convince himself that killing his wife is the only way to save his own reputation from being dragged through the mud.
Othello’s soliloquy at the end of act four, scene one is proof that Iago has succeeded in destroying Othello’s good name. Othello says, “From this time forth I never will speak word.”(Othello. Act IV. i. 115-116.) Othello has now lost all trust in everyone including himself and has decided that the only way to save his reputation is to kill Desdemona and then commit suicide.
Iago is a master of cruelty because he takes advantage of others importance of reputation and destroys them both mentally and physically. Othello is not the only one whose life Iago ruined, Iago also causes the death of Emilia, Othello’s wife, Desdemona, and Roderigo. Iago’s cruelty is first seen when he convinces Othello that his wife, Desdemona, is cheating on him with Cassio.
Othello then proceeds to strangle her in their bed. Iago’s cruelty is then seen again when he stabs his own wife, Emilia, after she reveals to Othello that it was Iago who convinced Othello that Desdemona was cheating. The last act of cruelty committed by Iago is the murder of Roderigo.
Although Iago covets this position, Cassio is selected. When an opportunity presents itself for Iago to avenge this, he takes it. Iago manipulates Cassio into leaving his night watch and going out drinking by convincing him that he is a good, loyal, and trustworthy man.
He eventually gets into a fight with another lieutenant and is discovered by Othello when asked to explain the matter. When asked to elaborate on the situation, Iago tells Othello that Cassio acts like this all of the time because he uses jealousy as a weapon. It’s what causes Iago to scheme against the characters in Othello and especially Othello himself.
Iago is a master of cruelty. He takes Othello’s love for Desdemona and twists it, using it against Othello. Othello trusts Iago and confides in him, which only makes it easier for Iago to manipulate him. Othello is not the only one who falls victim to Iago’s cruelty. Desdemona is also a target. Iago knows that Othello is insanely jealous and he plays on that, convincing Othello that Desdemona is cheating on him. This drove Othello to the point of killing her, even though she was innocent.