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Does Iago die?

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At the end of Othello, Iago is alive after surviving Othello’s attack. Cassio places Iago under arrest and subjects him to torture. Does Iago survive the torture? It is up to the reader’s fantasy.

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Iago is an antagonistic figure in Shakespeare’s play Othello who drives the play’s events. He is a great manipulator who toys with other characters. The main Iago’s victims are Othello, Desdemona, and Cassio (Creating the Role of Iago). Cassio, in Othello, is a character who stole Iago’s lieutenant position. As it was Othello’s decision to appoint Cassio, it explains why Iago would hate Othello.

Jealousy makes Iago carry out his scheme that involves both Othello and Cassio. As a result, Cassio loses his title. Othello’s fate is even crueler. He murders his wife, Desdemona, as he wrongly believes in her betrayal. Why didn’t he figure out the truth? He was blinded by jealousy. And jealousy, as Emilia explains to Desdemona, is a detrimental force:

“But jealous souls will not be answer’d so;
They are not ever jealous for the cause,
But jealous for they are jealous: ’tis a monster
Begot upon itself, born on itself.”
(Act 3, scene 4)

Iago’s triumphs don’t last long because Emilia, Desdemona’s maid, reveals the truth. In revenge, Othello wounds Iago, but his regret is strong enough to cause Othello to kill himself.

Iago survives Othello’s attack, but he cannot get rid of the burden for his actions. What happens to Cassio at the end of Othello? He replaces Othello in his position and has to punish Iago. He places Iago under arrest and later subjects him to torture. In Shakespeare’s play, it is unclear if Iago survives the torture. However, in the original story by Cinthio, Iago’s counterpart dies. (Cithio as a source for Othello). This is what happens to Iago at the end of Othello.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Does Iago die'. 24 November.

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