Othello, by Shakespeare, is most recognizable for the brilliant villain, Iago. While Othello is likeable, though thinly developed, the reader develops a sense of awe as Iago’s plan comes to fruition throughout the text. Iago, being a Machiavel, does not hold any inhibitions or stops to accomplish his goal, while Othello is doubtful and wavers quite a bit. The betrayal of Iago’s plot is rife with planning and cunning, and certainly drives the plot forward. Yet, there is a betrayal of Othello that begins what will be Iago’s success.
Othello marries Desdemona early after their meeting. Desdemona confesses to her father that she does “love the ...view middle of the document...
Instead, they fester in his mind until he is driven mad. He betrayed Desdemona and his apparent love for her in this.
Iago—the notorious, clever fox of a man that brought about the downfall of Othello. His plans are characteristically dastardly and shrewd, well-thought out. His betrayal of Othello starts with the planting of doubt in Othello’s mind. Iago witnesses how familiar Desdemona and Cassio are in greeting, and hatches his plot to portray their simple, friendly relationship as one of lechery. First, though, he must prove Cassio to be untrustworthy. He sneakily does so by incriminating Cassio as a mere drunkard who acts very inappropriately when intoxicated; an unfit retainer of Othello. Iago also reminds Othello that Cassio was the “go-between” in the courtship between Othello and Desdemona.
When Othello demands evidence, Iago delivers. He gets ahold of Desdemona’s handkerchief, and plants it in Cassio’s possession, assuring Othello that Cassio has called out Desdemona’s name in sleep, and allowing Othello to know full well that Cassio and Desdemona do spend time together. Iago takes action by declaring his loyalty to Othello, doing whatever Othello would ask of him—a victory for Iago, as he sees that Cassio is now effectively out of power, and certainly not next-in-line if Othello should fall. To put salt in the already gaping wound, Iago misleads Othello in believing that he and Cassio are discussing Desdemona, when in reality, Cassio is joking about Bianca.