Question: What change does Iago produce in the character of Roderigo which enables him to maintain his control over him up to the very end?
Answer: "Evil communications corrupt good morals." By
constantly being brought in contact with lago, Roderigo cannot but be blackened by the soot which cleaves to him.
At first we find Roderigo not evil, perhaps, though destitute of virtue; his intention then has nothing criminal in it;
here is merely the disappointment of a rejected lover
together with the desire, called into life by lago, of finding
and separating Desdemona and the Moor before they are
married. But urged still further by lago, he becomes so
much indued with lagoism that he follows Desdemona to
Cyprus. Even here his conscience hurts him; he repents,
and wants to return, but lago's power grows too strong, and
he becomes more and more like "his cause," if we may call
lago such. Finally, this evil reaches a height that is almost
worthy of lago. lago maintains his ascendency by assimilating Roderigo more and more to himself, by filling his mind
and soul with evil.
How to cite this article:
Ragland, Fanny. Shakespeare Examinations. Ed. William Taylor Thom, M. A. Boston: Ginn and Co., 1888. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/othello/examqo/iagoroderigo.html >.