Moriarty and Iago Have A Conversation

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Iago and Professor James Moriarty from the Sherlock Holmes stories have a conversation discussing which of them is the more effective criminal.

Iago is at a contemporary prison, having been arrested for his criminal acts. The Professor is speaking to him at a visitation.

Iago is sitting back in his chair. His arms are crossed over his chest, and he is smirking, as if he held the position of power. Moriarty sits cross-legged. He remains calm throughout the scene, gently tapping his fingers on the table.

M: Simply glance at my criminal record. It doesn’t exist, Iago, because I am a cautious, methodical man. I plan every possible outcome and I account for every possible complication. I have built a criminal empire unscathed and undetected. What you have done is made a mess!

I: Your condescension is not warranted, Professor. Perhaps I didn’t consider all the situations before implementing my plan, but I gathered the weaknesses and pressure points of every man involved in my little scene. I placed myself in the situation and kept watch over all the moving parts. I took a risk, but I did not have your network of lackeys eager to execute my every command. I had courage. You - (point at M) - you hide in the shadows of your machinations.

M: It is not courage, it’s stupidity. Your scheme, while elegant as a whole, was unraveled because of your mistakes. That is the crux of the matter, Iago. You revealed too much -

Iago slams his hands down on the table.

I: That’s ridiculous!

M: Is it? You explicitly shared the details of your plan with Roderigo, hoping his lust for Desdemona would keep him quiet. You believed Othello’s blind rage toward Desdemona would make him forget that you were the one who told him to strangle his wife. And finally, you planned that Emilia’s love for you would make her take the theft of the handkerchief to her grave.

I: There was no other way. I had to take those risks - how else could I have ensured everything progressed as it should have? And let’s not forget that you yourself commit no crimes. You place trust in others to execute them correctly according to your instructions.

M: Ah, but there is the difference between us. You gained the loyalty of your pawns through the wrong kind of emotions; lust, anger, and love. These emotions, while powerful and binding when present, are fleeting. They can disappear when circumstances change. My men are bound to me by fear. Fear never truly goes away. I know the things they’ve done, the horrible crimes they’ve committed under my guidance, and I can use the fact of their involvement against them any time I like.
I: You’re wrong. I took the necessary risks. It is no fault of mine that Emilia realized what I was doing. I did everything perfectly.

M: (getting up) Well, Iago, you may want to consider then how it follows that I am called the Napoleon of crime while you are in handcuffs and an orange jumpsuit.






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