What celebrity would best fits Iago in Othello?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that Donald Trump can fit Iago's characteristics in Othello.

Donald Trump and Iago covet advancement. They love to be the center of attention and believe that the promises of the world are directly intended for themselves. For Iago, it's the promotion and power that Cassio possesses.  He directly speaks to this in Act I:

But for my sport and profit. I hate the Moor,
And it is thought abroad that 'twixt my sheets
He has done my office. I know not if 't be true,
But I, for mere suspicion in that kind,
Will do as if for surety.

Iago's desire for power is similar to Donald Trump's pursuit of the American Presidency.  He covets something that someone else has or wants. At his rallies and speeches, Donald Trump speaks of his own accomplishments, his own wealth, and how he alone possesses the way to "make America great again." When he speaks of how "there's something going on" with the current President, he telegraphs a note of resentment that something out there is not his own.  He believes that the office of the President is something that, by virtue of his own personality and success, is "his." Iago and Donald Trump believe that what others have should be rightfully their own.

Donald Trump and Iago are also similar because of their ability to manipulate others into what he wants others to do.  Iago is skilled in the way he sets up people to accomplish his own ends.  What he does, he does knowingly in order to benefit himself and his agenda.  Donald Trump displays some of the same traits.  Trump is able to speak to crowds of people who are politically and economically disenfranchised.  He speaks to them about how ideas like "political correctness" are ruining the nation and how insider "elites" are destroying the chances of America becoming "great again." He speaks to these people and strikes a populist tone.  However, Trump's wealth and social status differentiates himself from his crowd.  He criticizes America's wealthy and powerful, when he himself is one.  He has defied political expectations through such manipulation:

His quick rise demonstrates how a politician can manipulate the electorate, particularly when the field is so large and divided, how name recognition and shock value can so easily tip the scales, and how appealing to fear and prejudice under the guise of "plain talk" can fire up certain segments of the electorate.

In Trump's political strategy, he has shown the ability to manipulate people. This makes him very similar to Iago.

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Othello

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