Iago’s 2nd Soliloquy Summary

Published: 2021-10-09 05:45:11
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Summary of Iago’s second soliloquy: Iago’s second soliloquy is very revealing as it offers further insight into his motives. The extent of Iago’s hatred and contempt is suggested. It is weakness of his that he allows hatred to consume him in this way, using it as a driving force behind his action. It shows him shaping a plan out of the confusion of his emotionally charged thoughts. Iago examines his own thoughts, especially his hatred for Othello, “The Moor, howbeit that I endure him not” and finds a common thread in the “poisonous mineral” of jealousy that still swirls around the rumor that Othello “hath leaped into my seat”.
Iago says that he thinks it likely that Cassio does indeed love Desdemona, and believable at least that she might love him, “That Cassio loves her, I do well believe’t; That she loves him ‘tis apt and of great credit”. Iago, however, also suggests that he could get his revenge by seducing Desdemona, “Now I do love her too . . . / But partly led to diet my revenge… ”. Iago uses the word “love” here in a very cynical way, making it a combination of lust and power seeking. At first he sees his seduction of Desdemona as his revenge, “Till I am evened with him, wife for wife”.
Yet, Iago then realizes that the unsubstantiated jealousy that torments him is the very weapon he can use against Othello, who will be even more susceptible as it is seen that Othello is naive and almost foolish when it comes to love and women. He reasons that at least the confrontation he has engineered between Roderigo and Cassio will implant the seeds of mistrust and doubt in Othello as he begins to suspect Desdemona of infidelity and thus, Iago will lead Othello, via jealousy, to madness, “Make the Moor thank me, love me, and reward me, / For making him egregiously an ass, / And practicing upon his peace and quiet / Even to madness”.

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