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Doohyun ParkThe purpose of this essay is to trace out private self-knowledge and the problem of uncertainty by focusing on Iago in Shakespeare's tragedy, Othello. People in Renaissance age should have experienced the dissonance between thing and human knowledge and doubted that language can accurately reflect things. Shakespeare might describe such contemporary world that any knowledge provides by no means clear standard of judging individual actions through Iago's movement and idea in this tragedy. Iago profoundly stays away from the major other characters in terms of private self-knowledge. Furthermore, Iago's self-knowledge makes us understand a particular aspect of contemporary epistemology because his action does not have any fixed rules and guides and his idea is dissociated from the established ideology. Iago's power of self-knowledge has a destructive attribute because his idea leads most characters to their tragic deaths. When Iago's knowledge affects most characters including Othello by using the uncertain assumptions, such meanings as moral value, reputation, social order, ideology which profoundly influenced private lives in the Renaissance, are understood, with changes of social circumstances, as mutable, and contingent, rather than as fixed and essential. Iago's action can be the significant origin of meaning in the sense that most characters may be influenced by his knowledge. The disproportion between language and thing never guides Iago's action to stable interpretation of meaning. Characters' limited self-knowledges in the play tend to bring about the contemporary epistemological problems.