Iago in Othello

An examination of the character of Iago in Shakespeare’s play, Othello, and a linking of Iago to Machiavellian philosophies.

This paper explains that Iago is the villain in Othello; he is presented as the epitome of deceit and malice. It shows that Iago is a true Machiavellian figure, who does everything that Machiavelli thought a ruler should do to overcome his enemies and achieve his goals.
However this has been done while keeping the character wrapped in thick clouds of honesty and truthfulness. This is a strange paradox as the on the surface we are repeatedly told that Iago is an honest man and he also considers himself to be so, while beneath all this fake honesty, he is always trying to stab someone in the back.
Because of his crafty nature, this character can also be considered a true Machiavellian figure. Close reading of Machiavelli’s work reveals certain link between Iago and Machiavellian prince. Yet despite all his slyness, the character repeatedly claims to be an honest person (Cassal, 2003). This facade of honesty allows him to perform his essential tasks of manipulation and revenge.