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Lago in Othello's Speech: William Shake's Play

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Iago Speech

How could the Moor have possibly chosen Cassio over me? I have endured hardship after hardship, battle upon battle, and yet, he does not see me fit to serve as his lieutenant! Never complained have I, and I have stood at Othello’s side all these years. The Venetians love him, their brave and victorious general. I know I can serve him better than any other soldier. Instead that wretched Cassio, that wretched fool who has never seen battle, war, nor bloodshed, that wretched fool has been chosen over me. Here I am, a veteran, and Othello does not see me. I stand loyal, headstrong, and willing. Othello needs a bloodhound in battle- a man who would charge onwards and die for him. That arithmetician is no use to him; Cassio has only read of war in books. How could Othello possibly see him worthy? Yet, I am not completely surprised. Officers are promoted for their charisma, hand-selected for their charm, and it will always be the men like me who are skipped over. That weak Cassio is not who Othello deserves. But no matter. That ship has sailed. I will have my sweet vengeance soon enough. Othello may be brave, but brave is no match for cunning. I’ll just have to wait for my chance, and in the meantime attend to the matters of a pressing Turkish fleet.

Waiting on the shores of Cyprus is a waste of my time. My wife is too talkative for my taste. If Emilia only kissed as swiftly and surely as she lashes at me, she’d be quite an enchanting woman indeed. But alas, all women are the same. They laze around, too weak and pitiful to accomplish any sort of work, and they spend all their energy in the bedroom. I suppose that is the role of women; they’re here to pleasure us men. Although some are too ugly to do even that! I find it absurd Desdemona has fallen in love with Othello. A gorgeous, white highborn woman like her, marrying a black man, of all people. But enough of this! It seems as my chance has come. As for my plan, Cassio will be an easy target, his flirtatious nature being to my advantage. He takes Desdemona’s hand so gently and easily now, but after I am through with him he will wish he had never met her. Poor Roderigo! It will torture him when I tell him Cassio and Desdemona held hands. That Roderigo has more money than brains, he’s certain to pick a fight with Cassio afterward. I just need to bring Othello some proof to plant seeds of doubt in his mind, and these people are nothing more than puppets under my control.

I would never have expected my wife to bring me exactly what I needed! My Emilia has finally done something of use! Now with Desdemona’s handkerchief, it will simple to accuse her of infidelity. Planting this proof in Cassio’s room, I know Othello will be driven mad with fury. In fact, seeing Othello so shocked is quite amusing. Tortured, he vows to exact vengeance on Cassio, as well as that pitiful Desdemona. And the best part is that I’ve been made lieutenant! Life has never been better! It was almost too easy. Now I must go off to help him in his revenge.

For such a perceptive general in war, Othello is quite blind to my scheming. So easy it is to fool him! Only the slightest prompting sets him over the edge with assumptions. I barely have to do any work. It is absolutely shocking how weak Othello is now! Although I suppose it is impossible to be wise and in love at the same time.

The stress of this must be driving Othello insane. He’s had his second fit of epilepsy in two days. How perfect it is that Cassio has come by. All I must do is talk to him with Othello watching and the rest of the plan will unravel on its own. Perhaps mentioning that filthy woman Bianca will bring the desired effects. With Othello in his rage, he will want to kill Desdemona for shaming him so. I suggest he strangles her in bed, a very poetic and fitting ending. Roderigo is such a simple man, and simple men are easy to manipulate. Once I tell him the only way to keep Desdemona here will be to get rid of Cassio, he will take matters into his own hands.

After waiting for Cassio to arrive, I thought that Roderigo would have effectively slain him, but I could not have been more mistaken. What a mess this idiot Roderigo made! Cassio was right in front of him and he still wasn’t able to kill. And my whore of a wife Emilia! This damned woman cannot keep her mouth shut! Killing her has changed nothing, and Othello and Desdemona are dead. Alas, I accept my fate, but am proud to say I regret nothing.

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