If you were a psychoanalist and Iago was your patient, what questions would you?I am writing a paper and thought it would be fun to put Iago on the couch in a psychologist or psychotherapist's...

If you were a psychoanalist and Iago was your patient, what questions would you?

I am writing a paper and thought it would be fun to put Iago on the couch in a psychologist or psychotherapist's office. I'm thinking of doing the essay as a case study of Iago.

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that one of the most basic sets of questions I would ask Iago would focus on his resentment complex.  It seems to me that Iago suffers from a sense that the world "owes" him and this motivates him to embrace the worst levels of evil machinations.  At the same time, I would focus questions on his relationship with Othello.  There is a line of criticism on Iago that reflects his antipathy towards Othello and his machinations are reflection of a lover spurned, someone done wrong.  Does Iago have certain feelings towards Othello that might explain his intensity of reaction towards him?  I think that this becomes a question that needs to be addressed in some form.  At the same time, I think that asking Iago questions about his own sense of emotional grounding might be appropriate.  Iago strikes me as a type of patient that would reflect some type of corroded center where psychological fortification might prove to be quite useful.  Some questions related to self- esteem and self- worth might be needed and how these issues do not need to be validated or confirmed by the external conditions.

juliette12345 | Student

Yeah I would definitely diagnose him as a sociopath.

Some good questions might be,

- Did you have a good relationship with your mother/ sister/ female playmates at school?

Because he seems to have an ingrained insecurity/ fear/ overwhelming misogynistic attitude when it comes to women "Venetian women are deceitful" the way he blames Bianca for the murder, the way he killed his own wife with no qualms whatsoever. He could answer in a degrading way and you could analyse this as fear possibly, or a lack of understanding.

Also something about the imagery he uses and why it's so crude could be a good indicator to his subconcious mental state.

All in all you need iago to be hugely uncomfortable and to essentially deflect most of his questions in a defensive sneering, condescending way, but all the while showing his hidden insecurities.

Maybe google some psychiatrist interviews with sociopaths to see how it's set out and to give you ideas for the kinds of questions and reactions. 


mjay25 | Student

This sounds really interesting. What an excellent idea!

Iago is a very diabolical character, and as a psychoanalyst, I would probably diagnose him with some sort of personality disorder or as a psychopath. I would definitely endeavor to get to the roots however, and ask questions about Iago's childhood .Trying to find some sort of repressed memory and basis or reason as a psychoanalyst to explain his wicked behavior.

I would ask questions like:

Did he often experience other children taking away his sweets when he was young? (to explain his ingrained envy)

Did he grow up in a loving household?

What are his best memories?

What are his worst memories?

What did he wish to become when he was younger?

And Iago would answer in a manipulative and deceptive manner. He'd probably begin to mention something that would explain his behavior, but then quickly realize that that is what I would want to hear, and then try to change the subject or boldly ask me the same question. He would give snippets of information though, and his uneasy behavior of being placed on the 'questioning couch' will speak more than words could, as he clasps his fist tightly, sweats and keeps looking around the room.