Iago is a fictional character in Shakespeare's Othello (c

To what extent do you think Iago’s actions are ‘the motive-­hunting of motiveless malignity’?
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Iago is the play's main antagonist, and Othello's standard-bearer

Most of this could be summarized by the saying “to understand all is to forgive all”, but the last sentence makes an interesting point. Does Shakespeare find his own villains attractive, and is that why we find ourselves liking them? Would Shakespeare have agreed that nobody is completely bad, but the victim of upbringing or circumstance?

Iago has been described as a "motiveless malignity" by Samuel Taylor ..
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Othello Essay Topics - Shakespeare Online

In any list of Shakespeare villains, Iago and Richard III always come at the top. Coleridge coined the phrase “motiveless malignity” for Iago, and Shakespeare obviously enjoyed writing their scenes, giving them the best and most persuasive speeches. Conflict’s an essential part of the entertainments Shakespeare wrote, and his arguments between characters are rarely so neatly divided into good and evil.

Iago is "a being next to devil", his monologues are "the motive-hunting of motiveless malignity". Iago has no reason to be evil but he's evil anyway.
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I’m not sure I agree with the Yahoo answers contributor. The problem I’ve always had as an actor and as an audience member is the lack of psychological depth of characters like Iago, Richard III and Macbeth who owe more to the Vice character of a mediaeval morality play than a modern, motivated dramatic character. I suspect the lack of motivation in the text might drive actors and directors to be more thoughtful and creative in our contemporary post-Freud, post-Stanislavski naturalistic theatre tradition and create complexity and ambivalence in performance which I’m not sure Shakespeare wrote in the plays.

Dec 19, 2010 · Iago’s Motives: According to Coleridge’s well-known views, the malignity of Iago is motiveless, but A.C
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