Iago’s Character in Othello

Examines the speech delivered to Rodrigo by Iago in Othello.

This paper introduces, discusses, and analyzes Iago’s speech to Roderigo in `Othello` by William Shakespeare. Specifically, it discusses what the speech reveals about Iago’s character.
Iago could be one of Shakespeare’s most evil and frightening villains. He has no remorse, and is totally consumed with his own hatred of Othello. It colors everything he does in the play, and has clearly turned him into a bitter and spiteful man. In his speech to Roderigo in the First Act, Third Scene of the play, he reveals quite a bit about his own personality and psychology. It is clear he is not a kindly, romantic, or loving man. (A man that kills his own wife is none of these things). He says, our bodies are gardens, (Shakespeare 1:3:315) which at first seems a bit romantic and earthy, but then compares the garden’s fruitfulness with our own wills. This makes sense, because we are responsible for our own wills, and our own bodies, and so, we are responsible for what grows there, but he is really showing his cynicism and negative outlook. He is clearly a pessimist when he says, the blood and baseness of our natures would conduct us to most preposterous conclusions: (Shakespeare 1:3:322). He feels we are nothing more than base humans, who are led by our emotions and our sexuality.