In William Shakespeare’s play, “Othello”, the main evil in the storyline, Iago, has many sides to his personality. As Othello’s ensign, and perhaps the villain of the play, Iago believes that he is best suited for the position of lieutenant. However, Othello passes him over for promotion to lieutenant, and for that reason, Shakespeare uses many soliloquies when Iago is speaking. He does this to connect with the readers, as well as to show the true disposition and heinousness of Iago.
Shakespeare does not fully express Iago’s motivations. He almost puts the characters and the readers in a state of confusion. But what we do know about Iago derives from his soliloquies. Iago’s plan is to work towards Othello’s demise. He believes that Othello has slept with his wife, Emilia— “and it is thought abroad that ‘twixed my sheets he has done my office. I know not it be true, but I, for mere suspicion in that kind.” With his plan to take Roderigo’s money—“for my sport and profit”, Iago makes his hatred of Othello well known. He plans on telling Othello that Cassio has slept with Desdemona, and of course, Othello will believe him because he thinks that all people are honest. From Iago’s disgraceful actions and plan, I can tell that he is the real villain of the play, and is quite manipulative.
Iago’s first soliloquy is at the end of act 1 scene 3. In Othello’s eyes, Iago seems to be a very honest and trustworthy person. However, after the completion of his first soliloquy, Iago appears to be quite the contrary to the audience. On the outside, Iago is an honest, kind, but two faced character. But on the inside, he is evil and manipulative. In this first soliloquy, Iago uses language very rhythmically. It’s like he is telling part of a story, and the audience has to wait until the next chapter to find out what happens—similar to television series.
“The purpose of soliloquies in Shakespeare’s plays is to express the genuine feelings or beliefs of the characters...