Beware the “Iago” in all of us: How to see evil in people and in ourselves

In Shakespeare’s Othello, There is a soldier by the name of Iago. Now, Iago works under his general Othello where his goal was to become lieutenant. After being passed over from the job, Iago swears revenge on Othello and vows to make his life miserable. What is truly remarkable about Iago is that at first we see he has a goal in mind, yet as we progress throughout the play, Iago’s reason for revenge became more vague and in the end he becomes a total psychopath. Yet, it was one thing that made Iago go over the edge and seek revenge, which was the passing over of the lieutenant job that he most desperately wanted. From there, it spirals downhill and he makes Othello’s life a living hell.

One of the most hardest things to differentiate is a friend who in actuality is a hypocrite when your eyes are not watching. He tells you are his friend, but in actuality you’re suffering brings him pleasure. There are these kinds of people in this world who would do anything to have their revenge. They believe that “the ends justify the means”. Iago gained Othello’s trust to the point where Othello believed everything that he said. Now, this is a dangerous thing. Imagine the power that a person wields when he is given complete trust by another individual. This power can truly be used for both good and bad. In the Shakespeare’s play, Iago uses Othello’s complete trust in him to insert thoughts of his wife cheating on him and inciting the one emotion that warps anyone’s behavior: Jealousy.

When one truly wants to ruin your life, that person looks to the people that you love so that they can ruin the bonds that you have with them. As humans, we are emotional creatures. We can get riled up on the just a thought. A thought, An Idea, that is all that it takes. When order ceases to exist, what fills the void is chaos. In order to achieve achieve their plans, people will lie to you in your face and slander you when your presence isn’t felt. One of the cruelest acts of Humanity is when someone betrays someone. Malcolm X once said”To me, the thing that is worse than death is betrayal. You see, I could conceive death, but I could not conceive betrayal.”Do you understand what it feels to give your trust, holding out in front of someone, and then this person cold-heartedly stabs you. Even when we hear this happens, we don’t believe that it will happen to us because we believe that the people around us are different.  That may be the case for some people, but remember that there are people who are using you and will discard you once your benefits to them become obsolete. Beware them, for they will ruin your life. They will suck everything out of you and you will feel empty inside when they leave you. Therefore it is important to choose your friends.

In order to see how people are evil, you have to see how people are good. I truly believe that we didn’t come out of the womb inherently evil, it is our surroundings and upbringings that change our ways of thinking. In addition, as we grow older, we are heavily influenced by what friends we have. There is a saying that having good friends is like going into a perfume shop. You are not the person who sells perfume, but when you leave, you have the scent of perfume on you. On the other hand, A person who has a bad friend is like someone who visits a blacksmith shop. He himself is not the Blacksmith, yet when he leaves, he retains the smell of the blacksmith. In the end, it doesn’t matter if you don’t agree with what friends you have, their behaviours will rub onto you and you have to be careful. It takes one person to change a person, for better or for worse.



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