The Beast: Ultimately Unchangeable Essay

Submitted By bjozefat
Words: 1330
Pages: 6

The Beast: Ultimately Unchangeable With a quick observation of the activity around the planet, one can tell that there is evil present. Evil behaviors can be anything from demonstrating hate to greed to deception. The list goes on and on. Aside from simply giving in to evil behaviors, humans can be genuinely evil people. These people commit murder, hate crimes, rape, and listless other appalling actions. However, what exactly makes someone become “evil”? Does this come from how they were raised? Do life events have any effect? Are some humans born with terrible intentions in their soul? In Shakespeare’s Othello, Iago is infamously known as one of the most evil characters in any of Shakespeare works. Many believe that Iago exhibits his wicked behaviors simply because he is extremely angry over certain life events, specifically being skipped by Cassio for a promotion within Othello’s army. However, this is not the case. Instead of only being furious over this situation, Iago’s evil comes from more than that. It will be shown that Iago is actually supernaturally malevolent: he is the devil. The most fundamental way to confirm something about a person is to hear it directly from their mouth. Iago states in Othello, “I am not what I am” (Shakespeare, p.5). This statement is eerily similar to one made in the Bible. According to Exodus 3.14, God says to Moses “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you’” (The Holy Bible). God is stating that he is God, and was to be referred to as “I am”. On the contrary, Iago puts a twist on this ancient reference by states that he is not “I am”. In doing so, Iago is openly saying that he considers himself as an opposite of God: this figure obviously being the devil. The supernatural evil in Iago can be further linked to other similarities with the devil. One of the most prominent known stories about Satan is that he used to be morally pure as an Angel of God. However, he abandoned these morals to be villainous and to rebel against God, the image of goodness. Iago also rejects the concept of good and moral. When speaking of Othello, Iago states “The Moor…is of a constant, loving, noble nature” (p. 44). Additionally, Iago expresses that Desdemona is “framed as fruitful as the free elements” (p. 58). From these quotations, it may be inferred that Iago understands the concepts of love, beauty, and truth. He discerns what these different “good” features are, and can determine which people exhibit these characteristics. This observation aids in proving Iago is actually the devil. He grasps the concept of good morals, however he decides to blatantly attack the characters with these attributes. Both Iago and Satan objectively decided to attack goodness, which is a strong sign that their evil is much more than simply being outraged. In addition to this, Iago speaks again on his opinion of virtues. He exclaims, “Virtue? A fig! ’Tis…why the power and corrigible authority of this lies in our wills” (p. 28). Here, Iago continues to express that virtues are meaningless to him, and that people should simply do what they wish instead of the making the ethically correct decision. It may be noted that most of these strong indications of devil-like behaviors are found in the early portion of the story. This technique allows readers to obtain a much better overview of Iago’s character, ultimately making people much less shocked when they observe Iago’s sneaky, malicious actions later on in the plot. Another prominent trait that Iago and the devil both have is their ability to use various personalities and appearances to convince others to do what they wish. In the Bible, Satan frequently takes on different disguises: a lion, a snake, and an angel of light to name a few. Since Satan is known to be the ultimate villain, these various appearances can be used to show that evil has many faces. According to Thessalonians 2:10, “He [Satan] will use every kind of evil