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I, Iago

Galland, Nicole

(Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
I, Iago
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"From the author of The Fool's Tale comes a brilliantly-crafted retelling of Shakespeare's Othello in which the 'true' motivations of literature's greatest villain, Iago, are revealed"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : William Morrow Paperbacks, 2012
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 0062026879
9780062026873
Branch Call Number: FICTION GALLAND 2012
Characteristics: 370, 16 pages ;,21 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Shakespeare created one of literature's most inscrutable villains in Iago. This villian never explains his actions, nor does he ever show remorse. In I, Iago, Galland offers a glimpse into the mind of this enigmatic fiend.


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Oct 24, 2012
  • tocch101 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

A good read, that really develops the characters back stories. I didn't like the ending, but didn't like it in the original either. A great book to pick up to see into someone else's mind.

Jul 29, 2012
  • SFCohen rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I confess, I've never read Othello - but now I definitely will! This is the tale told from Iago's perspective. While the Shakespearean Iago is a villain and a liar throughout, in this version he fancies himself an honest man, fed up with the petty (and not so petty) lies common among the patrician class of Venice. Yet as he bends the truth to his own ends, he is caught up in a web of deceit that can end only in tragedy. Ironically, the person Iago most deceives is himself.

What is in a name? “Iago” is a Spanish derivative of the name James; Santiago is literally Saint James, Apostle to Jesus, patron saint of Spain. One legend of Saint James is that of Santiago de Matamoros – “the moor killer.”

Another legend of another Saint James says he was the younger brother of Jesus and came to be known as James the Just or James the Righteous. Take these two sources and put them together in one character and you get a plausible profile of one of the most enigmatic characters in Shakespeare’s canon – that of Iago, the villain in The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice.

Scholars have debated the reasons Iago does what he does for decades – aside from the barest of hints, Iago seems motiveless in his utterly destructive machinations which bring about the deaths of at least four people. Ironically referred to as ‘honest Iago’ in Shakespeare’s play, author Nicole Galland seized upon this moniker as the hinge for his motives.

If a fellow has been brought up in a shady society where subterfuge reigns, but he himself hates it; if he is called honest as an insult but instead wears it as a badge of honour; if he believes himself more honest than all others and becomes blind to his own faults – would he not begin to believe that he is the hero of story, the moral centre of the world, and any slight against him would be a wrong against honesty itself?

Therefore punishable by an honest man and righteously so? By writing her novel in the first person we see a man from the inside out, his actions rationalized by his own internal moral code, making him more frightening by the intimacy of sharing his thoughts than he would be by watching him as a third person.

Galland shows us a man of deep passions and raging jealousies who always exudes an outward confidence, a sociopath, in fact, although Iago to the bitter inevitable end, fails to see himself as such.

Even as he kills his best friend he justifies the murder, even as he stabs his own beloved wife in the back he releases himself from her condemnation. A familiar story with a fascinating and altogether creepy examination of a villian’s motives, this novel is recommended by any fan of Shakespeare, or even perhaps of the Dexter series – just for another take on the inner-mind of a psychopath.

Jul 01, 2012
  • DanniOcean rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

reviews in the Stratford Gazette

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Jul 01, 2012
  • DanniOcean rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

What is in a name? "Iago" is a Spanish derivative of the name James; Santiago is literally Saint James, Apostle to Jesus, patron saint of Spain. One legend of Saint James is that of Santiago de Matamoros - 'the moor killer'. Another legend of another Saint James says he was the younger brother of Jesus and came to be known as James the Just or James the Righteous. Take these two sources and put them together in one character and you get a plausible profile of one of the most enigmatic characters in Shakespeare's canon - that of Iago, the villain in The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice. Scholars have debated the reasons Iago does what he does for decades - aside from the barest of hints, Iago seems motiveless in his utterly destructive machinations which bring about the deaths of at least four people. Ironically referred to as 'honest Iago' in Shakespeare's play, author Nicole Galland seized upon this moniker as the hinge for his motives. If a fellow has been brought up in a shady society where subterfuge reigns, but he himself hates it; if he is called honest as an insult but instead wears it as a badge of honour; if he believes himself more honest than all others and becomes blind to his own faults - would he not begin to believe that he is the hero of story, the moral centre of the world, and any slight against him would be a wrong against honesty itself? Therefore punishable by an honest man and righteously so? By writing her novel in the first person we see a man from the inside out, his actions rationalized by his own internal moral code, making him more frightening by the intimacy of sharing his thoughts than he would be by watching him as a third person. Galland shows us a man of deep passions and raging jealousies who always exudes an outward confidence, a sociopath, in fact, although Iago to the bitter inevitable end, fails to see himself as such. Even as he kills his best friend he justifies the murder, even as he stabs his own beloved wife in the back he releases himself from her condemnation. A familiar story with a fascinating and altogether creepy examination of a villian's motives, this novel is recommended by any fan of Shakespeare, or even perhaps of the Dexter series - just for another take on the inner-mind of a psychopath.

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