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The William Shakespeare's Play "Othello"

" This is a secondary position and one of less significance. The "moor-ship" is a caustic reference to Othello, the "Moor," who is not a "lordship" or noble, but who is in a position superior to that of Iago.

Though Iago says that "there's no remedy; 'tis the curse of service, preferment goes by letter and affection and not by old gradation," it is clear that he is not willing to accept having been passed over (796). The resentment of the career officer, intent on advancement in the service, is readily apparent. In addition, Iago goes on to tell Roderigo that he will follow Othello despite his disappointment. His remark is important: "We cannot all be masters, nor all masters cannot be truly followed (796)." What this means is that Iago will simply appear to be a loyal follower of Othello, but he will not actually give his leader the loyalty or respect that is required. He says that many people who are "a duteous and knee-crooking knave" simply "wears out his time, much like his master's ass, for naught but provender, and when he's old, cashiered (796)." Here, Iago is contemplating hs own possible future รป a future limited by the events which have placed Cassio over Iago and reduced Iago to little more than a sort of upper-levels servant to Othello.

However, Iago is not such a man which is revealed when he says "whip me such honest knaves." He intends to be the kind of man who keeps his heart "attending on themselves" and presenting "but shows of service on their lords (796)." He plans to do well by giving lip service to his lord and thus being a man who does himself homage and has soul. He says "were I the Moor, I would not be Iago: in following him, I follow but myself; heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty, but seeming so, for my peculiar end (796)." In essence, Iago i


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The William Shakespeare's Play "Othello". (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 13:36, August 17, 2017, from
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