Othello’s confidence for a loyal man to maintain honesty and morals are contradicted through Iago’s actions: “in a man that’s just / They are close dilations, working from the heart, / That passion cannot rule” (3.3.123). Iago, due to the understatement to his name, is not perceivable as hateful. Othello’s willingness to sense Iago’s distress, and to believe his accusations, is because of the lack of awareness Othello has for his vengeance. Iago is of such little power and relevance within societal ranking that if he were to have intentions to sabotage anyone, which he does, are not considered, thus making him easily trustworthy to those of greater dominance. Society’s view of an individual determines how others consider and surmise their persona, though these conclusions may be false.
Secondly, Iago manipulates Cassio the most throughout the book. He uses Cassio’s social status and his trust with Othello to ruin his reputation. Iago is jealous of Cassio because he is higher status and has a strong relationship with Othello. For Iago’s plan to work he needs to get closer to Othello, but first he needs to break Othello and Cassio’s trust first. So one night Cassio is supposed to be keeping a party under control Othello tells him “good Michael, look you to the guard tonight.
Iago also had three different key representatives throughout the city of Venice voice their opinion that he is deserving of the job to Othello, “Three great ones… suit… to make me” (1. 1. 8-9). Instead of confronting Iago and explaining his decision to promote Cassio, Othello ignores the obvious animosity and lies to Iago pretending all is fine. This subtle act of lying is the key reason for Iago’s heinous plan of revenge.
He is manipulative and tells Othello to “observe her [Desdemona] well with Cassio” (Shakespeare, 3.3:197). Iago feeds Othello with countless lies and makes him miserable with something that is not factual. He is determined to get revenge and he does not realize Iago stands insincere. Furthermore, Iago is selfish when he tells Othello, “I am yours for ever” (3.3:479). He betrays Othello yet still let’s him depend on him for his own
Iago also manipulates Othello with jealousy. When Othello is gone at war, Iago tells him that Cassio and Desdemona were getting too close. At first Othello does not believe him, but by Iago saying “nothing,my lord; or if- I know not what” Othello starts to question if it is true (III. III. 39). Iago constantly uses his “innocence” to make Othello jealous and start to assume that it is true. These actions eventually lead to a tragic event.
In the play Othello, William Shakespeare creates an elaborate tragedy with various in depth characters, enhancing the story with powerful characterization. Iago, the main antagonist of Othello, exemplifies Shakespeare’s use of characterization to create in depth and complex characters. Using his manipulative nature, intellectual mind, egotistical attitude, and dishonesty, Iago controls the other characters in order to achieve his goal, leading Othello to succumb to an overwhelming jealousy causing his downfall. In order for Iago to gain control of the characters in the play, he manipulates Othello, Roderigo, Cassio, and more to believe false information and turn on one another.
In the play Othello, by William Shakespeare we are introduced to Othello who is the protagonist and faces a lot of obstacles, one of them being betrayal. Throughout the whole play we witness betrayal from many of the characters through their irrational behavior and actions. However the biggest betrayal we see is from Iago, who is the antagonist, in other words, the villain of the play. Iago plans on having his revenge and betraying Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, Rodrigo and even his wife, Emilia. Betrayal is wrong and something that can’t be forgiven, at the end betrayal breaks friendships as well as lives and trust which never works out well in the end.
Othello falls for Iago’s lies because he sees Othello as a trustworthy man. The reason Othello’s trust in Iago is high, it is because of his honesty, giving him the name “Honest Iago,” and Othello has also known him for years. Throughout the whole story, Othello is lead to believe Iago’s lies and would trust him more than anyone else even his wife Desdemona. With Iago trying manipulate Othello, it works well causing him to do things leading to disbelieve the close people around him.
Kolin observes that Iago stands out among Shakespearean villains since he is the only one to survive his own monstrous acts (25). Unlike Richard III, apart from telling stories, Iago carries out a downright fraud through other means of manipulation, which makes him the most evil and intelligent character. To be exact, Iago is a puppeteer who sets up scenes to deceive the “credulous fools”—Othello, Cassio and Desdemona (4.1.45). Iago talks to Cassio about Bianca while telling Othello that the subject of their conversation is the Moor’s wife. He is so smart and careful that he even gestures Othello to come closer when Cassio is about to illustrate how Bianca entangles him.
Unfortunately, he trusted the wrong person due to his growing lack of self-esteem. Iago, a hypocrite who hid his evil thoughts by appearing as a man of extreme honesty, saw that he could erode Othello’s self-esteem because of who he was, a moor living in European society. He realized he could manipulate Othello for his own evil ends. He slyly used pathos to gain his trust, saying, “My Lord, you know I love you” (III.iii.118) to convince him of his honesty and reliability. Then he suggested the unpredictable nature of Desdemona by saying, “Ay, there’s the point: as, to be bold with you, not to affect many proposed matches of her own clime, complexion, and degree, whereto we see in all things nature tends - Foh!”
According to Keyisjian “Iago convinces Othello he is full of” “love and honesty, qualities that Othello admires” (Shakespeare 3.3.116). This is to earn his trust and to undermine him. This was one of the strategies that Iago uses to deceit the characters in the play. He is also very sneaky when he does it.
Iago is a unique and complicated character. He is intelligent in that he is able to manipulate people and events in his favour, which he thrives on throughout the play, classifying him as the antagonist of the play. Driven by jealousy and hatred, Iago plots against Othello to destroy his character and reputation. Knowing that if he foolishly attacked such a respected man directly, he would be sentenced to death. As a result, he devises to use other people to obtain what he desires by influencing the characters in the play to suit his plan.
As a scheming villain, Iago begins to ensnare Othello into his trap of vengeance by echoing in Othello’s mind prospect of an affair between Cassio and Desdemona. Iago begins his insinuations by reminding Othello that Cassio served as their go-between during their courtship through a rhetorical
Throughout the play, he would often talk about Iago in the same manner as in Act 2, scene 2, “a man he is of honesty and trust”( II,ii. 323-324). Given that Othello trusted who he thought was his best friend, it was easier for Iago to bring Othello down. The root of Iago’s evil intentions is jealousy, which he describes to be like a “green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on” (III,iii. 196-197). He speaks of it in a way that captures how it affects man because that is what he was going through after Cassio got the lieutenancy.