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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: March ::
Re: Iago
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0504  Monday, 22 March 1999.

[1]     From:   Lawrence Manley <
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        Date:   Friday, 19 Mar 1999 12:56:22 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0497 Re: Iago

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Friday, 19 Mar 1999 13:21:01 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0497 Re: Iago

[3]     From:   John Velz <
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        Date:   Friday, 19 Mar 1999 23:50:56 -0600
        Subj:   Iago and Cassio


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lawrence Manley <
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Date:           Friday, 19 Mar 1999 12:56:22 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 10.0497 Re: Iago
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0497 Re: Iago

On Friday, 19 Mar 1999, Ed Taft wrote:

>I wonder if Iago's "motivation," that most vexed of questions, might be
>answered in a general way by saying that he has "an injured sense of
>merit"? That would sure link up Shakespeare and Milton, if nothing else.

My esteemed and longtime colleague Harold Bloom develops that line of
argument in a thoroughly Miltonic manner. Iago's, he says, is the story
of what it feels like to be betrayed by God, to desire an impossible
restitution, and to seek revenge instead by returning the god to the
abyss into which one's self has been thrown.  Of course, as C.S. Lewis
observed, Milton didn't call his poem "Satan," and Bloom's is a reading
that puts Iago, rather than Othello, at the center of the picture.  In
an odd way it's an almost allegorical reading of the play.  But it's a
fascinating argument, one of my favorite chapters in his new book.

Lawrence Manley

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Friday, 19 Mar 1999 13:21:01 -0800
Subject: 10.0497 Re: Iago
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0497 Re: Iago

Ed queries:

>I wonder if Iago's "motivation," that most vexed of questions, might be
>answered in a general way by saying that he has "an injured sense of
>merit"? That would sure link up Shakespeare and Milton, if nothing else.

A. C. Bradley's second lecture on Othello, in Shakespearean Tragedy,
presents this thesis.

Cheers,
Se

 

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