OTHELLO: Iago critics

E. Honigmann [Iago] is anything but straightforward
S. Johnson The character of Iago is so conducted, that he is from the first scene to the last hated and despised
C. Lamb while we are reading any of [Shakespeare’s] great criminal characters – we think not so much of the crimes which they commit, as of the ambition, the aspiring spirit, the intellectual activity which prompts them to overleap those moral fences
E. Honigmann [Iago] is the play’s chief humorist
E. Honigmann [Iago’s sense of humour is] quite distinctive
W. Auden [Iago is a] practical joker of a peculiarly appalling kind
E. Honigmann Auden’s loose label really identifies one of Iago’s convenient masks, not the inner man
E. Honigmann His humour either intends to give pain or allows him to bask in his sense of his own superiority
E. Honigmann he enjoys a godlike sense of power
E. Honigmann His humour also makes him seem cleverer than his victims
H. Goddard [Shakespeare bestowed] the highest intellectual gifts [on Iago]
E. Honigmann Iago excels in short-term tactics, not in long-term strategy
E. Honigmann he has neither felt nor understood the spiritual impulses that bind ordinary human binds together, loyalty, friendship, respect, compassion – in a word, love.
E. Honigmann Emilia’s love (of Desdemona) is Iago’s undoing
Fintan O’Toole so close are Iago and Othello, indeed, that they start to melt into each other… Othello’s grand verse breaks down into jagged, disordered prose. Iago’s prose becomes triumphant verse
A. C. Bradley [Iago is defeated by the] power of love
S. Coleridge [Iago is] next to the devil
S. Coleridge [Iago shows] motiveless malignity
S. McAvoy Iago has no real intentions
A. C. Iago does what he does for enjoyment

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