The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0244 Monday, 18 May 2009
Date: Friday, 15 May 2009 12:25:50 -0500
Subject: 20.0229 Playing Iago
Comment: RE: SHK 20.0229 Playing Iago
In response to Joseph Egert's rather mystical reply ("Like the dyer's
hand, many a soldier's soul (even in the best of causes) is left tainted
by the blood he has shed -- his nature 'subdu'd to what it works in' and
'pity chok'd with custom of fell deeds.' To that extent every victory is
a defeat, and every battle won is a battle lost.") I have nothing
further to say. I guess I just don't know what he means by a "serial
On the other hand, Iago, Edmund, and Richard III all fit the general
profile of the psychopath -- that is, they are without affect or
conscience, and yet are extremely plausible, charming and persuasive.
Fortunately, relatively few psychopaths have the sadistic sexual
impulses characteristic of the serial killer, for they are peculiarly
difficult to capture.
Of course, there is also no particular reason why a sadistic psychopath
couldn't be a professional military man, but equally none why he might
not be a college professor, playwright, or actor. I'm not sure I want to
know which is more likely.
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