In the play, Othello, by Shakespeare, villainous character, Iago, schemes to bring Othello s happiness to an end. Iago conspires to have Othello turn against his comrade, Cassio, and try to kill him for his misdeeds against Desdamona. Iago arises Othello s feelings and emotions towards Desdamona by feeding on Othello s great pride in Desdamona s devotion to Othello. By doing this, Othello begins to doubt his point of view on what Desdamona is like and if she would really deceive Othello after all they have gone through in achieving acceptance in society as a married couple.
I do not think but Desdamona s honest. (line 255, Act III, scene iii) Iago uses the honesty and trust Othello has towards him so he may manipulate Othello to believe in everything he says about the rotten affair. My lord, you know I love you. I think thou dost; and, for I know thou rt full of love and honesty, (line 133-135, Act III, scene iii) Othello trusts those around him and because of this, he will fall into Iago s plan of betrayal. Othello does not see the evil behind Iago s words and does not see the false accusations against his wife.
Othello absorbs the words of Iago entirely and this causes Othello to no longer trust Desdamona. He thinks of her as the opposite of who she really is. To Othello, Desdamona is not innocent and not of honorable character. Since Othello is enraged by hearing that Cassio has taken Desdamona and stolen her love away from him, Othello seeks to kill Cassio. Iago uses Othello s weaknesses to turn Othello against Cassio. Othello s hubris pride and modesty in himself allows Iago to humiliate Othello. What sense had I of her stol n hours of lust?
I saw t not, thought it not, it harm d not me. I slept the next night well, fed well, was free and merry; I found not Cassio s kisses on her lips. (line 378-380, Act III, Scene iii) Iago wants Othello to feel ashamed of Desdamona and that Desdamona is having a secret affair with one of his officers. Iago exaggerates the scene between Desdamona and Cassio so that Othello will hear the most convincing evidence. In sleep I heard him say, Sweet Desdamona, let us be wary, let us hide our love; and then, sir, would he grip and wring my hand, cry, O sweet creature! hen kiss me hard (lines 463-466, Act III, scene iii)
He arises Othello s anger and jealousy through this cynical explanation. Iago is able to take away the invisible barrier before Othello s self-control and is able to manipulate Othello easily through taping into his irrational reasoning. Iago plays with Othello s reasoning to make Othello believe in false assumptions about Cassio s character to further rouse emotions. In the villainous plan to bring about Othello s downfall, Iago uses reverse psychology and flattery.
Iago questions his evidence of the affair and rejects his assumptions of Cassio. Why, then, I think Cassio s an honest man (line 148, Act III, scene iii) Iago suddenly changes his views about Cassio to use reverse psychology on Othello. Iago s sinister character has shown that he is a smart man that uses manipulation to get what he wants. By saying positive characteristics about Cassio, Othello falls into Iago s trap and further turns against Cassio.
Iago uses flattery to assure Othello of Iago s honesty and integrity that Othello looks for in every man. My lord, you know I love you. (line 133, Act III, scene iii) Also, Iago uses Othello s racial differences to rouse Othello s suspicions of Cassio. Iago brings up the issue of how a lady in that time period would prefer a man of her own age, race, and temperament. Othello s racial background is thought to be one of the reasons why Desdamona is in an affair with Cassio.