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The Evil Iago of Shakespeare’s Othello

“How shall I murder him, Iago?” This one line, spoken by Othello, in Shakespeare’s play of the same name speaks volumes of the evil and deceitful nature of the character being spoken to, Iago. The ability to turn a noble, self controlled, respected man such as Othello into a raving, murderous lunatic can only be had by an evil man such as Iago. Iago is conniving, vengeful, vain, ruinous, dishonest, egotistical and paranoid. This makes him one of the most evil men in all of literature.

The first of many examples of Iago’s villainy occurs in scene one of act one. His vain ego has been hurt. Othello has chosen a “bookish theoric” to be his lieutenant instead of Iago. Iago has this to say of Othello’s choice:

Forsooth, a great arithmetician,

One Michael Cassio, a Florentine,

A fellow almost dammed in a fair wife,

That never set a squadron in the field

Nor the division of a battle knows

More than a spinster–unless the bookish theoric,

Wherein the togaed consuls can propose

As masterly as he. Mere prattle without practice

Is all his soldiership. But he, sir, had th’ election;

And I, of whom his eyes had seen the proof

At Rhodes, at Cyprus, and on other grounds

Christianed and heathen, must be beleed and calmed

By debitor and creditor. This countercaster,

He, in good time, must his lieutenant be,

And I–God bless the mark!–his Moorship’s ancient.

This position is one Iago expected, not only because of his seniority in battle, but also because of his seniority with Othello himself.

Iago clearly shows his vengefulness when he tells Roderigo: “Call up her father.Rouse him, make after him, poison his delight…”

Importance of Setting and Wallpaper in The Yellow Wallpaper

Importance of Setting and Wallpaper in The Yellow Wallpaper

The Room itself represents the author’s unconscious protective cell that has encased her mind, represented by the woman, for a very long time. This cell is slowly deteriorating and losing control of her thoughts. I believe that this room is set up as a self-defense mechanism when the author herself is put into the asylum. She sets this false wall up to protect her from actually becoming insane and the longer she is in there the more the wall paper begins to deteriorate. This finally leads to her defense weakening until she is left with just madness and insanity. All of the characters throughout the story represent real life people with altered roles in her mind. While she is in the mental institute she blends reality with her subconscious, forming this story from events that are happening all around here in the real world.

As the reader is introduced to the woman we find her talking about very strange and unusual happenings occurring around her. She evens states that she has a condition that signifies insanity, but the doctor would never tell her straight to her face that she was insane. She says, “I think it is due to this nervous condition”(453). This shows that she knows there is something wrong with her. This nervous condition she refers to can only mean that she is having mental problems and is possibly going insane. We can infer this because during this time period, the doctors did not state that someone was insane because they had no medical proof. Instead they would just tell the patients that they have a nervous condition, and send them away. She says, “I always fancy I see people walking in the numerous paths and arbors, but…

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…f the bad that is going on in her real life, so she would have a happy place to live. With the collapse of her happy place her defense was gone and she had no protection from her insanity anymore. This caused all of her blocked out thoughts to swarm her mind and turn her completely insane. When the doctor found her, he tried to go in and help her. When the doctor finally got in he fainted because he had made so many positive changes with her and was utterly distressed when he found out that it was all for naught. This woman had made a safety net within her mind so that she would not have to deal with the reality of being in an insane asylum, but in the end everything failed and it seems that what she had been protecting herself from finally conquered her. She was then forced to succumb to her breakdown and realize that she was in the insane asylum for the long run.

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