The Meaning of “Iago”

"Iago" (from Shakespeare's Othello) comes from Welsh and Galician and means "Jacob." This makes sense given that Jacob deceives his brother just like Iago deceives Othello. But there might be another meaning.

"Iago" is very close to the Latin ego ("I"). And if this is the allusion then there are two fascinating points. First, Iago is the embodiment of selfishness. Secondly, "Iago" is a corrupt form of "ego." So in his obsession with himself, he has corrupted himself. Far from focus on the self producing a perfection of the self, it destroys the self.

Perhaps our selves must be found elsewhere.

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