Othello tells Iago to go get some poison to kill Desdemona, but Iago refuses and just tells him to strangle her in her bed (IV. I. 223-229). Iago’s manipulation has not only lead Othello to believe the rumor is true, but has lead him to kill his own wife as well. Iago even manipulates Othello to strangle her, which is a much personal and vengeful death than poison.
Othello’s severe distrust towards Desdemona is largely because of Iago’s attempt to convince Othello of Desdemona’s affair with Cassio. Throughout the play Othello battles between trusting his wife or trusting his seemingly loyal friend. Othello changes his perspective drastically moments before he inevitably dies. Othello starts Act V furious with Desdemona and slowly realizes how Iago misguided him so greatly. After Desdemona’s loyalty is revealed, Othello understands that Desdemona never betrayed him.
Another example is when Iago state, “What, man, there are ways to/ recover the general again” (2.3.259-260). In this quote Iago draws Cassio into believing there are ways to his position back on Othello’s good side again. Both quotes show Iago using his credibility to get on the good sides of both characters, increasing his reputation as a good friend/guy. Due to this increase, Iago can activate his plan with little to none suspicion and Iago can also manipulate Othello easily. Therefore, without the increase in Iago’s reputation and the trust others have in him, Iago wouldn’t have been able to accomplish his plan of bringing Othello to believe Desdemona is sleeping with Cassio which would’ve changed how Othello reacts.
Iago will continue his lies and deceptions as long as Desdemona and Othello’s marriage is intact. The use of dramatic irony reveal includes Iago’s claims that, “Or failing so, yet that I put the Moor/ At least into a jealousy so strong/ That judgment cannot cure” (II.1. 300-302). Iago believes that placing Othello into a pit of jealousy and paranoia will make him feel better. Iago believes he has to destroy Othello, because he believes that Othello committed adultery with his wife, Emilia.
Iago and Desdemona are stark contrasts to one another, acting as opposing forces in Emilia’s life. Iago consistently lies in order to further his own agenda and manipulates many of the characters in the play. Iago’s hatred for Othello motivates him and Othello compares him to the “devil” (5.2.337). On the other hand, Desdemona’s love for Othello motivates her to leave her father, Brabantio, and marry Othello. Desdemona remains honest and faithful to Othello throughout the play and Emilia calls her an “angel” (5.2.161).
Iago’s intentions unveil themselves not only through actions, but through his engagement with the audience. “Iago’s self-understanding is well-express when he explains to viewers his plan to put a plague in Othello’s ear that will cause him to misinterpret Desdemona’s advocacy to Cassio.” (The Art) In order to commence suspicion within Othello, Iago utilizes the elopement of Othello and Desdemona. “Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see. She has deceived her father and may thee.” (1.3. 330-335) Moreover, Iago took initiative to set up Desdemona by removing the handkerchief of her possession.
The play “Othello” by Shakespeare is about a man who eloped with the senator’s daughter. Then became deeply in love. The play also includes a man named Iago who hates the general Othello because he gave the lieutenant position in favor for Cassio. As a result, Iago decided to play devil and manipulate Othello’s mind by telling him that his wife Desdemona committed adultery with Cassio. Which lead Iago asking his wife Emilia to steal Desdemona’s handkerchief so he can place it in Cassio’s bedroom.
“I’ll pour this pestilence into [Othello’s] ear: / That [Desdemona] repeals him for her body’s lust” exclaims Iago diabolically (2.3.265-6). He knows that a corruption of this pure and honorable relationship will ruin Othello, just as Othello’s supposed affair with Emilia affects Iago. As Eastman states, “Iago, we might say, is able to find his way to Othello's heart by looking within his own” (Eastman). Accessing knowledge of his own humanity, Iago assumes Othello’s negative reaction to his gossip. Later on, Othello responds exactly as Iago expects, nullifying the supposed love he
Although the audience is well aware of his hatred for Othello at this point, this soliloquy begins to delve into the mind of Iago. For example, Iago states “Thus do I ever make my fool my purse;/ For I mine own gained knowledge should profane/ If I would time expend with such a snipe/ But for my sport and profit” (1.3.375-8). Because Roderigo is in love with Othello’s wife Desdemona, Iago is just using him in order to achieve his goal. While Iago continues with discussing his thoughts, he brings up many reasons behind why he is planning to get revenge. First, he uses derogatory terms to describe Othello such as a moor.
Envy and deceit are catalysts for revenge. William Shakespeare idolized Geoffrey Chaucer and allowed him to influence his plays and poems. All of his works were written in a poetic language. In the tragedy, Othello, Shakespeare uses characterization and external conflict to create Iago’s deceptive, vengeful, and envious motives. Using the characters’ relationships against them, the play reveals the power of deception and misinformation to destroy trust and loyalty.