Othello is a play by William Shakespeare. The play is about the titular character, Othello, a Moorish general in the service of Venice. Othello is tricked into believing that his wife, Desdemona, has been unfaithful to him, and in a fit of jealous rage, he kills her. The play deals with themes of race, jealousy, betrayal, and love.
Othello’s military officer Iago is jealous of Cassio’s elevation to lieutenant. We see many deceptions and clever plans unfold throughout the play as a result of Iago’s scheming and deception. The amazing thing about Iago is that he seems to make up his malevolent machinations as he goes along, without giving it any thought.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, noted writer “I am well aware,” says Othello, “that there are more than twenty thousand souls on board our armada; but for the present let us waive this point” (Ibid). Iago takes advantage of every opportunity to further his plans in his favor.
Othello, blinded by his love and trust for Desdemona, falls victim to Iago’s deviousness. Othello is not the only one who suffers from Iago’s treachery; almost everyone in the play is a victim of Iago’s machinations in one way or another.
Iago is successful in his schemes because he takes advantage of other people’s weaknesses. Othello is very naĂŻve when it comes to women and this makes him an easy target for Iago’s deception. Othello also puts too much trust in Iago and believes everything that he says. Cassio is another example of someone who falls prey to Iago’s schemes. Cassio is too trusting of Iago and this leads to his downfall. Desdemona is also a victim of Iago’s schemes. She is too trusting of her husband and does not suspect that he could be capable of harming her.
Iago is a master at deception and manipulation. He is able to deceive Othello into believing that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona. He also manipulates Othello into thinking that Desdemona is cheating on him. Iago is able to manipulate other characters in the play as well. He manipulates Cassio into getting drunk and then gets him into a fight with Roderigo. Iago also manipulates Emilia into stealing Desdemona’s handkerchief.
While Iago is successful in his schemes, he does have some flaws. One of his biggest flaws is that he is too trusting of others. This leads to his downfall when Othello starts to suspect him and turns on him. Iago is also not very good at hiding his true feelings. Othello notes this when he says “Iago is most honest” (Shakespeare IV.ii.176). Othello is able to see through Iago’s deception because he can tell that Iago is not being entirely truthful.
While Iago has many flaws, he is still a very successful deceiver and manipulator. He is able to take advantage of other people’s weaknesses and use them to further his own agenda. Iago is a master of deception and is able to fool even the most intelligent people.
Othello is one of his biggest victims. Othello trusts Iago too much and believes everything that he says. This leads to Othello’s downfall when Iago starts to turn on him. Iago is also successful in manipulating other characters in the play. He is able to get them to do what he wants them to do without them even realizing it. Iago is a very dangerous person and everyone should be careful of him.
Iago is a Satan figure throughout the tale. In many ways, Iago resembles Lucifer. Iago, like Satan, has demonstrated himself to be an expert in deception. He deceives everyone, taking great care to hide his own thoughts. When he is talking with Othello about his feelings for Cassio in Act 1 scene 2, for example, he uses harsh terms while also lying throughout the entire speech by faking loyalty to a fellow soldier and all the while implying that he is holding back the whole truth: “I’d want this tongue cut from my mouth rather than have it.”
Than it should do offense to Michael Cassio.” Iago knows Othello is a hot-headed man and will fly into a rage if he suspects that someone has been dishonest with him. By using such powerful language, Iago is able to convince Othello of his loyalty while at the same time leaving Othello feeling guilty for not trusting him fully. This guilt will eventually lead to Othello’s undoing.
In addition to being masters of deception, both Iago and Satan are also filled with hate. Iago hates Othello for promoting Cassio over him and he also despises Desdemona because she has rejected him. Iago’s hatred is so great that he is willing to destroy anyone who gets in his way.
For example, in Act 3 scene 3, Iago convinces Othello that Desdemona is cheating on him with Cassio. Othello is so consumed with jealousy and anger that he doesn’t even bother to question Iago’s motives. He simply believes what Iago tells him without any evidence. As a result, Othello ends up killing innocent people because of Iago’s lies.
Like Satan, Iago is also willing to use other people to achieve his goals. He manipulates Othello, Cassio, Roderigo, and Emilia in order to get what he wants. He uses Othello’s love for Desdemona to turn him against her. He uses Cassio’s drunkenness to discredit him in Othello’s eyes. He uses Roderigo’s love for Desdemona to make him Othello’s enemy. And he even uses Emilia’s love for him to get her to help him carry out his evil plan.
In the end, Iago is successful in destroying everyone around him. Othello kills himself, Desdemona is killed by Othello, Cassio is exiled, and Emilia is killed by Iago. Just like Satan, Iago has managed to ruin the lives of those around him through his lies and deception.
Iago explains how evil may disguise itself as something wonderful in order to entice us with its various allures. He then goes on to explain how he will deceive Desdemona while Cassio is begging her for permission to return home, Iago will begin his destructive plan. Deception also takes the form of lying and twisting the facts. When God said to Eve in the Garden of Eden, “You shall not surely die” (Gen. 3: 4), he twisted the truth in order to deceive her.
Othello also lies to Desdemona when he tells her that he killed Cassio in a fit of rage. The truth is that Iago had deceived Othello into believing that Cassio and Desdemona were having an affair. Othello’s final act of deception is when he tries to deceive himself into believing that killing Desdemona will make things right again. He says “She must die, else she’ll betray more men” (V.ii.35). But the ultimate irony is that it is Othello who has been betrayed, by Iago. Othello has lost everything because of Iago’s deceptions: his job, his wife, his self-respect, and finally his life.
Iago uses deception to make a good appearance, which is what leads the people around him to believe that he is loyal and honest. Being an officer is a prestigious position. An officer formerly carried the company’s standard, which he was never allowed to abandon.
Othello places a great deal of trust in Iago, which he violates. Othello’s reliance on Iago is so great that he entrusts him with the secret that Desdemona has a handkerchief that belonged to his mother.
Iago’s actions show us that he is two-faced. On the one hand, he appears to be Othello’s friend and confidant. He gives Othello good advice, such as when Othello is worried about Desdemona’s father’s reaction to their marriage: “Be sure, be sure your sin will find you out” (II.iii.362). On the other hand, Iago is constantly scheming against Othello behind his back.
Iago is a master of deception. He uses it to gain the trust of those around him and to further his own agenda. Othello foolishly places his trust in Iago, which leads to disastrous consequences. Iago’s two-faced nature is what ultimately fools Othello into thinking that he is a loyal friend, when in reality he is nothing more than a scheming liar.