IAGO AND THE AMBIGUITY OF HIS MOTIVES IN SHAKESPEARE'S OTHELLO

  • Jenny M. Djundjung Faculty of Letters, Petra Christian University
Keywords: vengeance, ambiguity of motives, Janus, devoid of conscience, bestial qualities, devil, demi-devil, artist.

Abstract

Iago's motives for vengeance are problematic as Iago offers different motives throughout the play. Shakespeare scholars have attempted to explain some probable answers for the problem. Yet, none of the answers is definite that Iago's motives remain vague. This paper explores the ambiguity of Iago's motives by negating Iago's explanations, as they do not correspond to his actions. He plays his role skillfully that he can act as a confidante to all of his victims that he masters them and pushes them to helplessness and desperation. His skillful mastery over his victims' lives can be compared to that of a devil who destroys the lives of his victim and that of a skillful artist who decides on the fates of his characters. If an artist creates a work of art, then Iago creates destruction.

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Published
2004-06-01
Section
Articles