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[Footnote 107: It has been held, for example, that Othello treated Iago abominably in preferring Cassio to him; that he did seduce Emilia; that he and Desdemona were too familiar before marriage; and that in any case his fate was a moral judgment on his sins, and Iago a righteous, if sharp, instrument of Providence.]
[Footnote 108: See III. iii. 201, V. i. 89 f. The statements are his own, but he has no particular reason for lying. One reason of his disgust at Cassio's appointment was that Cassio was a Florentine (I. i.
[Footnote 109: I am here merely recording a general impression. There is no specific evidence, unless we take Cassio's language in his drink (II.
[Footnote 110: See further Note P.]
[Footnote 111: But it by no means follows that we are to believe his statement that there was a report abroad about an intrigue between his wife and Othello (I. iii. 393), or his statement (which may be divined from IV. ii. 145) that someone had spoken to him on the subject.]
[Footnote 112: See, for instance, Aaron in Titus Andronicus, II. iii.; Richard in 3 Henry VI., III. ii. and V. vi., and in Richard III., I.
[Footnote 113: See, further, Note Q.]
[Footnote 114: On the meaning which this phrase had for its author, Coleridge, see note on p. 228.][Transcriber's note: Reference is to Footnote 115.]
[Footnote 115: Coleridge's view is not materially different, though less complete. When he speaks of 'the motive-hunting of a motiveless malignity,' he does not mean by the last two words that 'disinterested love of evil' or 'love of evil for evil's sake' of which I spoke just now, and which other critics attribute to Iago. He means really that Iago's malignity does not spring from the causes to which Iago himself refers it, nor from any 'motive' in the sense of an idea present to consciousness. But unfortunately his phrase suggests the theory which has been criticised above. On the question whether there is such a thing as this supposed pure malignity, the reader may refer to a discussion between Professor Bain and F.H. Bradley in Mind, vol. viii.]
[Footnote 116: I.e. terrifying.]
[Footnote 117: Cf. note at end of lecture.][Transcriber's note: Refers to Footnote 122.]
[Footnote 118: It was suggested to me by a Glasgow student.]
[Footnote 119: A curious proof of Iago's inability to hold by his creed that absolute egoism is the only proper attitude, and that loyalty and affection are mere stupidity or want of spirit, may be found in his one moment of real passion, where he rushes at Emilia with the cry, 'Villainous whore!' (V. ii. 229). There is more than fury in his cry, there is indignation. She has been false to him, she has betrayed him. Well, but why should she not, if his creed is true? And what a melancholy exhibition of human inconsistency it is that he should use as terms of reproach words which, according to him, should be quite neutral, if not complimentary!]
[Footnote 120: Cassio's invective against drink may be compared with Hamlet's expressions of disgust at his uncle's drunkenness. Possibly the subject may for some reason have been prominent in Shakespeare's mind about this time.]
[Footnote 121: So the Quarto, and certainly rightly, though modern editors reprint the feeble alteration of the Folio, due to fear of the Censor, 'O heaven! O heavenly Powers!']
[Footnote 122: The feelings evoked by Emilia are one of the causes which mitigate the excess of tragic pain at the conclusion. Others are the downfall of Iago, and the fact, already alluded to, that both Desdemona and Othello show themselves at their noblest just before death.]
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