Othello Act 2 Question

I wanted to talk about Iago’s soliloquy toward the end of act 2 that we talked about in class, and whether or not Iago has planned everything out, or is just thinking on the fly and taking advantage of things as they come to him. I think it’s more fitting that Iago is acting spontaneously, just because in act 2 we see him adding to his plan by observing the other characters around him figuring out what he can exploit. The first time does this is when he arrives at Cyprus and Cassio greets Emilia and with a kiss. This gives him the idea of taking advantage of Cassio’s flirtatious nature and manipulates Roderigo by telling him that Desdemona is in love with Cassio. Then Iago, during his soliloquy, say’s he suspects that Othello slept with his wife, and he declares that he is in love with Desdemona due to lust and his desire for revenge. i buy more into the idea that he’s pouncing on opportunities as they come, and the idea of motiveless malignity that we looked at. To me it seems like at his core, Iago is jealous and immoral, and his racist and misogynistic viewpoints are most likely what motivates him. He views women as unfaithful, deceitful, and lustful, so he views Desdemona and Emilia like this and assumes they are carrying out affairs. There is no evidence of his suspicions, and he probably loves Desdemona because he can use her to get revenge on Othello. I think these events support the idea of motiveless malignity, and I think he truly hates Othello for his success and Cassio by extension because he became lieutenant, stemming from his jealous nature. He’s either convinced himself the things in his head are true or revealing his plots and intentions as he thinks of them in the soliloquy. Maybe Iago actually hates Othello because he truly slept with his wife, and this is the driving motivator his racism and misogyny, but it doesn’t make sense to me coming from a character who is constantly manipulating and lying, and said that he’s only out for himself and hides his true nature from people.

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