Tag: Iago

Power Behind the Throne

Why are advisers to men of power—the vizir, the counselor, the chief of staff—such shifty figures? From Haman to Iago to Rasputin to Cheney, the adviser is often depicted as the source of evil, rot, and decay. Is this just a way of preserving the myth of the good king, corrupted by the whisperer in his ear? Or is there something suspicious and untrustworthy about someone who would subsume his fate to the fortune of a king? Or hide his power behind the power of another? Perhaps that makes a man, in the traditional view, too much like a woman, too much like a wife? Perhaps that’s why such figures are sometimes treated as sexually ambiguous, gender-bending freaks of power, and why characters like Lady Macbeth are conscripted to play the roles that […]