Gabriella Cortez Mrs. Fleisher World Literature, Per 2



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Gabriella Cortez

Mrs. Fleisher

World Literature, Per 2

2/2/13
Money, Power & Corruption



Iago desperate drive for power and money, plus hatred towards Othello lead him to do unthinkable things. Just like todays world, the thought of power, money and a good reputation makes people go crazy; this is exactly what happened to Iago. A man who was thought of to be a honest, and loyal noble man but secretly he was corrupt. His strong urge to be in power rapidly took over the man everyone knew and loved. He began turning people against each other and plotting evil schemes to get what he wanted and there was no stopping him.
First of all, the source of Iago’s corruption was his jealousy. He was jealous because he was passed over for a promotion. He felt he deserved the position of lieutenant. Iago says, “I know my price I am worth no worse a place” (1, i , 12). In this quote, Iago proves his arrogance and his jealousy. He talks about how he’s the only one fit for the job. He feels so strongly about this he is willing to make people pay since he didn’t get it, not with money but with their lives. In result, he tries to get rid of Cassio by destroying his reputation and trying to get him killed. For example, he convinced Cassio to get drunk at the party, knowing that he can’t handle himself under those circumstances. With that, he gets everyone to people that Cassio is a drunk, ruining everyones outlook on Cassio including Othello.
Secondly, Iago’s actions changed everyone’s lives dramatically. His constant head games and evil plots did the opposite of what he wanted. At the end, there were 4 deaths and none of them was the person he intended to hurt, Iago actually helped Cassio. For example, Iago says, “Cassio’s a proper man. Let me see now: to get his place and to plume up my will. In double knavery- how. how? Lets see: after some time to abuse Othello's ear that he is too familiar with his wife” (2, i, 393-397). The plan was to get Cassio out of the picture so he can get promoted but he ended up getting Cassio into a higher position than intended. This also shows how money and power corrupted him to hurt people. Iago was selfish and the tables ended up turning on him.
In addition, throughout the play Iago manipulated and corrupted everyone to turn on each other, the effects lead to several deaths. Iago had no regard for anyone, not even his own wife who was later killed because of Iago’s hanish behavior. He manipulated her into stealing from her own best friend, then later when she tried to tell everyone what was going on he killed her. Lodovico says, “Look on the tragic loading of this bed. This is thy work. The object poisons sight; let it be hid...” (5, iii, 374-376). This is explaining the effects that Iago has caused. He got Othello to believe Desdemona was cheating on him so he can kill her. Iago assured Roderigo Desdemona’s love if he gave her money (which Iago kept for himself) and he also convinces Roderigo to try to kill Cassio. This shows how corruption for power can really change someone and make them do malicious things.
Lastly, Iago may seem like a bad person for what he has done but corruption like this is very common in this day and age as well. The thirst to be in power and to be wealthy is taking over everyone’s mind. We accept it because we think its normal and this is they way things should be since its been happening for so long but its not. Money shouldn’t run our lives. Seeing and accepting corruption is just as bad as being the one corrupted. We should learn and teach people that everyone is important despite what they have power over or how much money is in there bank account then I believe corruption for power and money will decrease. If iago would have applied this to his situation than none of this would have happened but Iago had no remorse for anyone and at the end of the day they had no pity for him as well.


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