Iago motivated motiveless malignity essay example

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Iago motivated motiveless malignity essay example

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Such a limited view of Iago is an injustice to the complexity of his character, since Shakespeare's studies in personality are acclaimed by psychologists for their accuracy and profundity. Although the influence of the miracle plays and the later morality plays with their type-characters still lingered in some Elizabethan drama, the English Renaissance is widely recognized as a period of great interest in that branch of science which has become known in modern times as psychology.

Dramatists were particularly intrigued by the more bizarre working of the human mind, often creating characters whose personalities could form the subjects of con- temporary psychological case studies. This is certainly true of Iago, who is an accurate portrait of a psychopath. One of the best-argued essays on Iago-as-Machiavel is that of Daniel Stempel, who depicts Iago as the Jesuitical Machiavel, a popular combination the Elizabethans conjured up against the Papacy.

Yet in developing his thesis, Stempel does much to explain the psychology of Iago. Iago is entirely unconcerned with the moral consequences of choice; it is all one to him if we 'plant Iago motivated motiveless malignity essay example, or sowe Lettuce, set Hysop, and weed up Time.

His stated motives are flimsy rationalizations that have little to do with either fact or logic; they are flotsam tossed up from depths that even his subtle intellect cannot plumb. In criticizing those who see Iago as mere symbol, a personification or extension of Satan, or the Spirit of Evil, Marvin Rosenberg says, "They fail to do justice to Iago's flesh and blood qualities in seeing him as a symbol.

He was wonderfully shaped by Shakespeare into a first-rate dramatic character, as well as a clearly recognizable type of human being, with passions and frustrations-and even physical symptoms-characteristic of a type of troubled humanity common enough so that psychologists in our time regularly en- Shakespeare counter it.

Shakespeare was not content, in Iago, to load his play with yet another stock Machiavel, another version of an old Mora- lity figure. Inevitably, Iago has been likened to Aaron, the villainous Moor of Titus Andronicus, who is something more like the stock figure of Evil.

That Shakespeare was under the influence of the morality play in this early work is made clear by such scenes as the ap- pearance of Tamora and her two son in the allegorical garb of Revenge, Rape, and Murder.

Yet, even Aaron gives evidence of being more than a mere symbol of Evil. He has certain very human motives that urge him on to evil deeds: In Aaron, Shakespeare foreshadows some of the characteristics of Iago.

What shall I swear by? Thou believest no god: That granted, how canst thou believe an oath? What if I do not? As ind eed I do not; Yet, for I know thou art religious, And hast a thing within thee called conscience. This speech is significantly indicative of Shakespeare's early awareness of the characteristics of the psycho- path.

As if to discount the notion that his role is merely symbolic Evil, Aaron says, "If there be devils, would I were a devil" But whereas Aaron makes his final exit lusting to do more evil, and calling evil by its name, lago is a more complex psychopath.

He does not regard his own actions as horrendously evil. Bradley, at the turn of this century, came very close to diagnosing Iago as a psychopath. At the time Bradley wrote, very few clinical studies had appeared on the subject of the psychopath. Long regarded as a sort of wastebasket category 28 South Atlantic Bulletin for aberrant types who did not fit well into more clearly defined categories of behavioral variants, the clinical profile of the psycho- path is only now becoming sharply delineated.

Furthermore, the general reading public is just now becoming aware of the term-and the type. The Mask of Sanity,4 Hervey Cleckley's landmark study of the psychopath, was first published inalmost half a century after Bradley's Shakespearean Tragedy5 appeared. Yet, in comparing Bradley's analysis of Iago with the profile of psychopath in Cleck- ley, it is astonishing how close Bradley's analysis comes to the psy- chiatrist's description of the psychopath.

Bradley, however, did not delineate a major characteristic of the psychopath: But the play itself shows clearly enough that Iago goes off as he comes on, devoid of conscience, with no remorse. Whether Cleckley was ac- quainted with Bradley's work is not really to the point.

He does indeed devote a chapter Chapter 40 to fictional characters of psychiatric interest, and even mentions Iago: Cleckley's analysis of the psychopath, however, is based not on fictional works, but on thirteen in-depth case studies and close observations of still other cases.

How can an Iago be written faster?

Early in his analysis Bradley cites Coleridge's astute phrase-"the motive-hunting of a motiveless malignity"-with approval, qualify- ing it as a "disinterested delight in the pain of others" p.

He is most certainly on the right track. He also supports Coleridge's "passionless character of Iago"; according to Bradley, Iago, "was by no means a man of strong feelings and passions. This matches closely with Cleckley's statement that "the psychopath always shows general poverty of affect.Othello Jealousy Essay.

In every example jealousy is portrayed as being the main cause of self destruction of the characters it afflicts. Othello is driven to madness by his jealousy and this culminates in the murder of his wife, Ferdinand loses his sanity and murders his sister because of his intense jealousy over her lover and his desire.

Coleridge strongly believes that Iago has no adequate motivation for his actions; he is simply driven by “motiveless malignity.” This makes us contemplate his behaviour; critics have questioned whether Iago can recognise or even understand his own motivations.

Jonathan Culler’s essay on the motive-hunting of motiveless Malignity—how awful! In itself fiendish—while yet he was allowed to bear the divine image, Pechter E.

() Shakespeare Studies and Consciousness. In: Budra P., Werier C. (eds) Shakespeare and Consciousness. Cognitive Studies in Literature and Performance. Othello topics. The questions below For example, what part does Othello’s profession play in shaping his character and language?

Critics have argued and debated about Iago’s motivation for destroying Othello and Desdemona.

Iago motivated motiveless malignity essay example

Coleridge argued that Iago operates out of “motiveless malignity” (see excerpt from Coleridge . Below is an essay on "Iago: A Motiveless Malignity" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples. However, Iago's revenge does not match his given motives.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge describes his motives best in saying "the motive-hunting of a motiveless malignity."(Snyder, 10).

Iago's only reason for destroying Othello is that Iago is an inherently bad person. Iago uses Roderigo's weakness to help him remove Cassio from position as lieutenant.

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