Shakespeare has portrayed Iago as a villainous character that has created a reputation for himself to be entrusted by almost everyone. But in reality, Iago was malicious and self-driven to fulfill his selfish desires. Although he pretends to be close to Othello, he holds a grudge against him for promoting Cassio instead of him. Because of this, he starts by trying to break Othello’s marriage by spreading allegations to Desdemona’s father that her daughter has been bewitched into loving Othello. From how Iago talks to his wife, the audience gets to know him as an unpleasant and cruel character. He says, “having a foolish wife is a common thing.” We can conclude that he regarded women as fools who could be easily manipulated (Jamieson). And this might be one of the reasons why he thought creating false images of Desdemona having an affair would work because she could not defend herself.
Iago uses deception to exploit. He pretends to care for Othello’s well-being by telling him Cassio’s plot of taking his wife. But in reality, all this was just a revenge strategy meant to ruin both Othello and Cassio and, in doing so, get an opportunity to get promoted. Characters in the play refer to Iago as “honest Iago” because of the beautiful words he utters. It must have been extremely difficult for anyone to know that Iago was malicious and that nothing he ever did was out of goodwill. There is no instance where he directly attacks or exchanges words with anyone. Even after being apprehended for the murder of Emilia, he does not speak a word to Othello as to why he lied and misled him.
Jamieson, Lee. “How to Understand Iago From ‘Othello’.” ThoughtCo, 31 Dec. 2012, www.thoughtco.com/iago-from-othello-2984767. Accessed 8 June 2019.