Iago's motives

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Iago's Motives

1. Professional jealousy

  • Jealous of Cassio for gaining the position of Lieutenant over himself
  • Sees himself as of better experience for the job than Cassio
  • Describes Cassio as being a "mathmetician... who has never set a squadron in the field." 
  • Sees Cassio as being paper qualified only (counter-caster) but not qualified in the practical aspect
  • Shows reasoning behind getting Cassio into a drunken brawl... so that Cassio would lose his position.
  • Like Othello, Iago's occupation defines him, he sees it as his identity.
  • Being put below Cassio was a traumatic blow 
  • Iago is also jelous of Othello for having such a high position/military power despite him being a foreigner and black man
  • Iago says othello is "horribly stuffed with epithets of war" showing that he is jealous of the experiences that Othello has. 
  • He dismisses it as if to say that Othello is too proud of his achievements and that there is no reason for Othello to boast.

2. Infedelity

  • Here Iago is 'motive hunting' as he searches for an excuse for his actions
  • Iago blames Othello for sleeping with his wife, Emilia.
  • "I do suspect the lusty Moor hath leapt into my seat"
  • "Done my office"
  • Iago even goes as far to say that he fears Cassio "with [his] nightcap too"
  • Although he states, "I know not if't be true" showing that he is acting without proof and does not need proof in order to act, suggesting the hatred is from some deeper source.
  • Emilia questions the feasibility of Iago being supposedly cuckolded as being a motive when she states, "some such a squire he was, that turned your wit the seamy side without, and made you suspect me with the Moor."
  • In both…


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