The Tragedy of Othello begins with a conversation between Roderigo and Iago. This discussion reveals to the readers the true feelings and intentions Iago has towards Othello. We learn that Iago loathes Othello because he gave Cassio the position as captain, as well as the fact that Iago believes that his wife Emilia is sleeping with Othello. These two reasons give Iago a motive into plotting revenge on Othello and causing chaos in his life. He successfully pulls this off by poisoning Othello’s mind and making him believe that his wife Desdemona is cheating on him with his good friend Cassio. The twisted story causes many deaths that would soon occur as an outcome of this. In the end of the novel, Othello would have lost his reputation, his wife, and his dignity. Iago would eventually have his sweet revenge on Othello. In Othello by William Shakespeare, Iago’s Psychopathic ways creates his character and who he is as a person.
The three characteristic that Iago possess that contribute to those of a psychopath are being a pathological liar, being manuliative, and having shallow emotional responses. In the novel, Iago plans to “ abuse Othello’s ear” (45) with twisted lies and stories. He is purposely feeding Othello untruthful tales such as Desdemona is cheating on him with Cassio, in order to get the revenge he thinks he deserves. Psychopaths are natural born liars, it is in their nature to lie, therefore they are the most compulsive liars people meet. They tend to do so in order to get what they want, which is exactly what Iago is doing in order to get his revenge.
Also in the tragedy, the readers can see how manipulative Iago is as a person. In Act 2, Scene 3 Iago tricks Cassio into “Fasten[ing] but one cup upon him with which he hath drunk tonight already” (91). Iago is trying to influence cassio into taking more drinks in order to get him drunk. He wants him to get him intoxicated because once Othello sees Cassio’s flaws and faults, he will no longer want Cassio to uphold the of captain and strip him of his position. This would get Iago closer to Othello’s good graces. A psychopath usually get you within his power largely through deception. A way that they can do so is by playing with your emotions. In the Tragedy, Iago deceive Cassio into drinking by telling him that they should all be happy and celebrate a victory, in doing so it got Cassio to do as he pleased, and everything fell into Iago’s powers. A psychopaths deception can truly affect those around them in a negative way.
Lastly, in the book Othello, Iago also showed a shallow emotional response. Towards the end of the book when most of the characters died, Iago stated “ Demand me nothing. What you know, you know. From this time forth I never will speak word” (261). Iago did not feel compassion or empathy for any of the deeds he did. He simply had nothing more to say about the topic and didn’t feel guilty for causing the murders of those many people. The reason why he feels this way is because psychopaths do not feel sorry if their victims are dead since they no longer hold any pleasure or needs for them.
I believe that Iago acts the way he is around others is because of his psychopathic mindset. The way his mind is trained to think and interpret things reflects on how he determines which way he should handle a specific situation. Psychopaths do not have a sense of morality, and therefore Iago can not distinguish the difference between good or bad. This causes a problem since the trigger Iago’s inability to realize anything about himself as a person or about how his actions affect others. I would strongly recommend Othello’s novel to persons who want to understand how a specific mindset, such as a psychotic mindset can interfere with a person’s inability to make good moral decisions and how it can affect or harm others around them.