Iago’s story of Desdemona and Cassio has the power to turn a man in love into a man full of hatred. Othello’s attitude, during the first discussion with Iago, is one of clear denial. He claims that he would simply "whistle her off, and let her down the wind", or divorce her in other words (Vanita 3). As time goes on, the accusations that Iago has made, against Cassio and Desdemona, begins to churn in Othello’s mind. He tries hard to forget the claims but when Iago offers him proof, he begins to break down and cries out "I’ll tear her to pieces" (Oth. 3.3.631). One would normally ignore this remark, assuming that he was simply speaking in anger, if it were not for his call for "revenge" shortly after (Oth. 3.3.631). The true evil in Othello begins to show when he commands Iago to kill Cassio by saying "Within these three days let me hear thee say / That Cassio’s not alive" (Oth. 3.3.632). What makes this directive so evil is that Othello has not yet seen any proof. He has only heard the accusations from one person (Iago), and yet he
By the middle of the play Othello’s mood and demeanor seem to shift from being peaceful and patient to very anxious, paranoid, and gullible. For example when Othello is talking to Iago and Iago suggests that maybe his wife is not being faithful to him, it becomes Othello’s obsession to get down to the bottom of it and catch her. “I have been talking with your suitor here, a man that languishes in your displeasure / Who is’t you mean / Why, your lieutenant, Cassio. Good my lord” (III.iii.41-43). In this dialog between Othello and Iago, with just two sentences Iago causes Othello to lose trust in his wife and believe she is being unfaithful to him which grows stronger and stronger each scene of the play. Because Iago is extremely cunning and manipulative, he is able to control almost anyone he chooses and he is in control of Othello’s emotions because he knows the things Othello fears. Iago is pretending to be Othello’s friend but secretively is going behind his back and bringing him down. Iago convinces Othello that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona. “I humbly do beseech
He tells Iago that he wants proof of Desdemona’s affair with Cassio. In this scene, Iago tells Othello to beware of jealousy and spreads even more lies. Othello begins to let his jealousy take over and soon becomes immersed in it. Othello’s words also give way that if he finds out Iago has lied he won’t be forgiving. When Iago mentions the handkerchief, Othello’s suspicion gets the best of him so he confronts Desdemona about its whereabouts. Othello’s sense of distrust and anger toward Desdemona become clear as he grows into the green-eyed
The timing of events is very important in Act III. Iago anticipates and manipulates the other characters so skilfully that they seem to be acting simultaneously of their own free will and as Iago's puppets. For example, it takes only the slightest prompting on Iago's part to put Othello into the proper frame of mind to be consumed by jealousy. Iago exploits Cassio's discomfort upon seeing Othello by interpreting it as a sign of guilt:
Iago’s second soliloquy reveals how he manipulates Cassio and Desdemona. While Desdemona waits for Othello to return from his journey across ravenous seas, Iago joins her. He purposely acts like a jerk to Desdemona and his wife, Emilia in front of Cassio. When Iago departs from the group, Cassio, in his good mannered gentleman way, reassures Desdemona that Othello will make it to shore fine. Having Desdemona confide in his words, Cassio takes interest in her just as Iago had planned.
You have told me she hath received them, and returned me expectations and comfort of sudden respect and acquaintance; but I find none” (IV, ii, 186-190). Roderigo started to see that Iago is cheating on him, but Iago is smart enough, and Roderigo is dumb enough for Iago to confuse him. In the second act during the party after the defeat over the Turks, Cassio becomes very drunk and easily taken advantage of. He then runs into the room where everyone is and attacks Roderigo. Montano intervenes and is then wounded by Cassio; Othello is forced to demote Cassio from his position of Lieutenant. With Cassio devastated he asks for advice from Iago, he then informs Cassio the only way to gain his position back is to talk to Desdemona. Cassio then leaves “good night, Honest Iago” (II, iii, 306). Shakespeare put in those two extra words on purpose; he is trying to show how Iago is already able to play with people’s minds and how manipulative he can be. Us, the audience knowing what Iago really wants to do, but Cassio puts trust into Iago with his position and future. The last person to believe Iago is honest and to trust him is Othello. Iago started to tell Othello of how Desdemona might be sleeping with Cassio, and how she is cheating on him. Othello does not believe him as there is no proof, “I’ll see before I doubt; when I doubt, prove; and on the proof there is no more but this” (III, iii, 190-191). Othello knows
With that which he hath drunk to-night already, He'll be as full of quarrel and offence As my young mistress' dog.” He gets Cassio drunk, because he knows Cassio will make a fool out of himself, which helps Iago get closer to Othello, and helps gain his respect. Iago also speaks with Desdemona and manipulates her into helping Cassio get his job back, which seems very strange to the jealous Othello. All of these situations prove Iago’s power over Othello’s intelligence, and he gains his control through making Othello fiercely jealous.
Iago’s manipulation of Othello is the most significant in the play Othello. Although, Iago’s elaborate plan would never have worked without careful manipulation of Othello’s honorable lieutenant, Cassio. In the third scene of act two, Iago uses his established credibility and pathos to manipulate Cassio’s emotions. The scene starts with Othello telling Cassio to assist Iago in standing guard through the night. When Iago arrives, he begins his manipulation by shifting the conversation to Othello’s wife Desdemona, which leads Cassio to say, “She is indeed perfection” (Shakespeare, 2.3.22). Iago uses this conversation to direct Cassio’s emotions. Immediately after Cassio confesses his feeling for Desdemona, Iago tells Cassio he has a “stoup of wine,” and wants to have a toast to Othello’s health (2.3.23). With persuasion from Iago, Cassio takes part in the toast and gets drunk. Shortly after Cassio leaves, Iago sends Roderigo, a former suitor to Desdemona, to start a fight with him. Not long after, Roderigo runs back pursued by Cassio. Iago, knowing
Iago easily persuades Othello to the point where he never actually goes to ask either of the parties involved in the conflict. He believes what Iago says and the “evidence” that is presented to him. This includes Desdemona’s handkerchief being found in Cassio’s bedroom. It is then when Iago succeeds in making Othello jealous to the point where he trusts no one but Iago. Iago brings up
Iago is trying to accomplish his plan by making Cassio have a few drink with the mens. Cassio is not a drinker and he tells Iago that he “dare not task my weakness with anymore” (Iiii), meaning he doesn’t want to drink anymore knowing
Iago finds the opportunity to make an undermining comment — "Ha, I like not that" — that rankles in Othello's mind. Iago further insinuates that Cassio was not just leaving, but that he was "steal[ing] away so guilty-like". Iago's words here are filled with forceful insinuation, and as he pretends to be a man who cannot believe what he sees, he introduces jealousy into Othello's mind. Iago also urges Othello to recall that Desdemona deceived her own father by marrying Othello. To Brabantio, Desdemona pretended to be afraid of Othello's dark looks; she pretended to shake and tremble at Othello's exotic demeanor, yet "she lov'd them [Othello's features] most".The implication is clear; Iago does not have to state it: If Desdemona deceived her own flesh and blood, she might just as naturally deceive her husband. ‘Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see, She has deceived her father, and may thee’.(Act I,
Othello’s love for Desdemona was so deep he could not bear the thought of another being with her; “If she be false, O! Then heaven mocks itself. I’ll not believe’t.” Iago uses the characters of Cassio and the obsessive Roderigo as his weapons in his cunning plan. Iago drives the idea into Othello’s mind that Desdemona has been unfaithful, inciting him into a state of jealousy. “Excellent wretch! Perdition catch my soul, but I do love thee; and when I love thee not, chaos is come again.” Othello growing insecurities about his wife’s faithfulness only adds to his psychological suffering which in turn acts as a catalyst towards the suffering of other characters involved in the play.Iago tells these lies with the intention of driving Othello insane as well as establish his dominance and influence the situations of those characters close to Othello. Evidence of this comes in one of Iago’s soliloquies from act two, scene one; “That Cassio loves her, I do well Believe’t: That she loves him, ‘tis apt and of great credit.” This section shows that he is trying to convince himself that his own manipulative lies are true and is trying to reassure his motives by justifying his own actions. By convincing Othello
Iago attempts to discredit Cassio is the eyes of Othello (II.iii). He enables Cassio to become intoxicated and then later Roderigo picks a fight with him. Othello finds Cassio at fault for the fight, which he seems to be at first glance., and removes him from his office. Even after it is done with, neither have any idea they were manipulated by Iago, but think he is a wonderful person, better, in fact, because of this incident.
Iago's omnipresence is vital to his success; only when present in a scene is he able to manipulate the characters and, more importantly, interpret the scenes for the benefit of those witnessing the events. In the first scene of the fifth act, after killing Roderigo and after Cassio passes out, Iago senses the chance to engage in a bit of creative staging. Iago, left uncontested,
He gets Cassio to talk to Othello’s wife, Desdemona, to ask for his position back and he begins to point out small things like them whispering. When Cassio exits the scene when Othello approaches, Iago does not hesitate to make his move and mentions it. Asking of Iago’s suspicions, Iago says, “Good my lord, pardon me, Though I am bound to every act of duty I am not bound to that all slaves are free to Utter my thoughts” (138-140). This places Othello in the position of being alarmed because what could be so horrible that this “honest” man would want to keep secret from him. Eventually, Iago comes out with his fake suspicions and Othello somewhat believes it but wants some kind of evidence. Fortunately, Iago’s wife, Emilia gets a hold of Desdemona’s handkerchief and gives it to him. He puts more of his plan into action saying, “in Cassio’s lodging [I] lose this napkin. And let him find it. Trifles light as air Are to the jealous confirmations strong As proofs of holy writ. (331-334). This is enough to convince Othello of Desdemona’s affair with Cassio, enraging him to want to murder the two. Othello decides he will kill his wife, and asks Iago to do the same to