Iago Quotes

Quotes tagged as "iago" Showing 1-17 of 17
Catherynne M. Valente
“I wouldn't even consider it if I were you. But then if I were you, I would not be me, and if I were not me, I would not be able to advise you, and if I were unable to advise you, you'd do as you like, so you might as well do as you like and have done with it.”
Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

William Shakespeare
“And what’s he then that says I play the villain?”
William Shakespeare, Othello

William Shakespeare
“Virtue? A fig! 'Tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus.”
William Shakespeare, Othello
tags: iago

William Shakespeare
“When devils will the blackest sins put on
They do suggest at first with heavenly shows”
William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare
“Put money in thy purse.”
William Shakespeare, Othello
tags: iago

Harold Bloom
“According to the myth, Prometheus steal fire to free us; Iago steals us as fresh fodder for the fire.”
Harold Bloom, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human

William Shakespeare
“For when my outward action doth demonstrate
The native act and figure of my heart
In complement extern 'tis not long after
But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
For daws to peck at I am not what I am.”
William Shakespeare, Othello
tags: iago

W.H. Auden
“As for Iago’s jealousy, one cannot believe that a seriously jealous man could behave towards his wife as Iago behaves towards Emilia, for the wife of a jealous husband is the first person to suffer. Not only is the relation of Iago and Emilia, as we see it on stage, without emotional tension, but also Emilia openly refers to a rumor of her infidelity as something already disposed of.

Some such squire it was
That turned your wit, the seamy side without
And made you to suspect me with the Moor.

At one point Iago states that, in order to revenge himself on Othello, he will not rest till he is even with him, wife for wife, but, in the play, no attempt at Desdemona’s seduction is made. Iago does not encourage Cassio to make one, and he even prevents Roderigo from getting anywhere near her.

Finally, one who seriously desires personal revenge desires to reveal himself. The revenger’s greatest satisfaction is to be able to tell his victim to his face – "You thought you were all-powerful and untouchable and could injure me with impunity. Now you see that you were wrong. Perhaps you have forgotten what you did; let me have the pleasure of reminding you."

When at the end of the play, Othello asks Iago in bewilderment why he has thus ensnared his soul and body, if his real motive were revenge for having been cuckolded or unjustly denied promotion, he could have said so, instead of refusing to explain.”
W.H. Auden, The Dyer's Hand

W.H. Auden
“Iago’s treatment of Othello conforms to Bacon’s definition of scientific enquiry as putting Nature to the Question. If a member of the audience were to interrupt the play and ask him: "What are you doing? could not Iago answer with a boyish giggle, "Nothing. I’m only trying to find out what Othello is really like"? And we must admit that his experiment is highly successful. By the end of the play he does know the scientific truth about the object to which he has reduced Othello. That is what makes his parting shot, What you know, you know, so terrifying for, by then, Othello has become a thing, incapable of knowing anything.

And why shouldn’t Iago do this? After all, he has certainly acquired knowledge. What makes it impossible for us to condemn him self-righteously is that, in our culture, we have all accepted the notion that the right to know is absolute and unlimited. […] We are quite prepared to admit that, while food and sex are good in themselves, an uncontrolled pursuit of either is not, but it is difficult for us to believe that intellectual curiosity is a desire like any other, and to realize that correct knowledge and truth are not identical. To apply a categorical imperative to knowing, so that, instead of asking, "What can I know?" we ask, "What, at this moment, am I meant to know?" – to entertain the possibility that the only knowledge which can be true for us is the knowledge we can live up to – that seems to all of us crazy and almost immoral. But, in that case, who are we to say to Iago – "No, you mustn’t.”
W.H. Auden, The Dyer's Hand

W.H. Auden
“Coleridge’s description of Iago’s actions as "motiveless malignancy" applies in some degree to all the Shakespearian villains. The adjective motiveless means, firstly, that the tangible gains, if any, are clearly not the principal motive, and, secondly, that the motive is not the desire for personal revenge upon another for a personal injury. Iago himself proffers two reasons for wishing to injure Othello and Cassio. He tells Roderigo that, in appointing Cassio to be his lieutenant, Othello has treated him unjustly, in which conversation he talks like the conventional Elizabethan malcontent. In his soliloquies with himself, he refers to his suspicion that both Othello and Cassio have made him a cuckold, and here he talks like the conventional jealous husband who desires revenge. But there are, I believe, insuperable objections to taking these reasons, as some critics have done, at their face value.”
W.H. Auden, The Dyer's Hand

W.H. Auden
“As his wife, Emilia must know Iago better than anybody else. She does not know, any more than the others, that he is malevolent, but she does know that her husband is addicted to practical jokes. What Shakespeare gives us in Iago is a portrait of a practical joker of a peculiarly appalling kind, and perhaps the best way of approaching the play is by a general consideration of the Practical Joker.”
W.H. Auden, The Dyer's Hand

William Shakespeare
“And what’s he then that says I play the villain, / When this advice is free I give, and honest, /Probal to thinking (2.3.321-323)”
William Shakespeare, Othello
tags: iago

“Love he hates, hatred he loves!

Iago, the Mephistopheles!”
Md. Ziaul Haque

“I am apt to think she was too artful to rail at me, but rather pretended to have a kindness for me, and like Iago gave, as she saw occasion, wounds in the dark.”
Anne Somerset, Queen Anne: The Politics of Passion

“The English letter ‘O’ is similar to zero (0) in appearance. Iago’s [I am Ego = ‘I’ ‘a’m e‘go’] name starts with an egoistic ‘I’ and ends with an ‘O’ or zero. His ‘ego’ and envy lead him towards nothingness or zero! On the other hand, Othello’s name both starts and ends with ‘O’. It may be interpreted as- Othello has started his career from a ‘zero’, becomes successful, Iago’s deception makes him jealous or mad and he ultimately becomes a ‘zero’ by killing Desdemona and himself. However, Othello must not be called a ‘murderer’ because Iago has used Othello as a weapon to murder Desdemona and also led Othello towards death!”
Md. Ziaul Haque

William Shakespeare
“With a little a web as this I will ensnare as great a fly as Cassio”
William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare
“Çok adam öldürdüm savaşta ama
Vicdanım elvermez tasarlanmış bir cinayete.”
William Shakespeare