Iago begins to manipulate the people around him in order to hurt Othello and make him think that his wife, Desdimona, and Cassio are having an affair. The first to fall victim to Iago's manipulation, is Rodrigo. Iago knows Rodrigo has feelings Desdemona, and would do anything to make her his own. Iago tells Rodrigo that the only way to win Desdemona's love, is to make money to procure gifts for her. "...put money in thy purse.." (Act 1, Scene 3, Line 339).
When Roderigo finds out that Desdemona has eloped with Othello, he is sure that Iago must have known about it. He says “ I take it much unkindly that thou, Iago, who hast had my purse As if the strings were thine, should’st know of this “ (45 1-3). Iago is able to look Roderigo in the eye, lie to him and make him believe that he is really his friend. With his cunningness he is not only able to talk his way out of trouble, but is actually able to turn things around so that he is in control of the situation. Iago swears that the elopement was a complete surprise to him.
From the beginning, Iago creates a strategic game plan by undermining everyone in their weaknesses as a way of revenge. He does this successfully by arousing Roderigo’s love for Desdemona, disguises the friendship between Cassio and himself and plays with Othello’s mind in doubting himself. Ultimately, Iago
Iago becomes one of Shakespeare's most frightening villains, because he can look at someones eyes, lie through his teeth, and make a person believe he possesses good intentions. At the moment Iago holds little difficulty with Roderigo, who assumes that Iago must have known about Othello's plans, but Iago quickly talks his way out of the difficulty and takes jurisdiction of the situation. Iago declares that the departure comes a complete surprise, and Roderigo answers, "Thou told'st me thou didst hold him in thy hate" giving Iago a chance to talk about himself, which he loves. To prove his hatred of Othello, Iago tells the story of how he was passed over for promotion to lieutenant. He discloses that three very important Venetians very humbly asked Othello to give the job to him.
Iago states, "Thus do I ever make my fool my purse." By playing on his hopes Iago is able to swindle money and jewels from Roderigo, making a substantial profit and making him a pawn in his plan. Iago is also quick on his feet and able to improvise when the unexpected occurs. Being of smart mind, Iago is quick to recognize the advantages of trust, thus using it as a tool in forwarding his goals. Throughout the play he is often referred to and known as "honest Iago."
Iago uses Roderigo to further along his cruel intentions. Iago is knowledgeable to the fact that with an enough sway that foolish Roderigo will listen to him. In Iago's discourse he states "do I ever make my fool my purse"(1.3.373). He is conning Roderigo out of his money without his knowledge. At this point Iago takes pleasure in reaping the rewards behind Roderigo cluelessness.
In his play Othello, William Shakespeare depicts themes of flattery, deceit, mistrust, and manipulation. Iago, the main antagonist, exudes and exemplifies all these traits simply out of spite for Othello because Othello gave a promotion to Cassio instead of Iago. This festering jealousy will continue to breed and grow inside of Iago and will eventually dictate his actions that cause him to exude traits of deceitfulness and dishonesty. Iago will make any attempt to preserve his so called “honesty” in order to manipulate anyone he chooses. By the end of Othello, Iago clearly shows no remorse and proves himself to be fully depraved.
Iago is an expert judge of people and their characters and uses this to his advantage. For example, he knows Roderigo is in love with Desdemona and figures that he would do anything to have her as his own. Iago says about Roderigo, "Thus do I ever make my fool my purse"(1002). Throughout the play, Iago leads Roderigo by the collar professing that he "hate(s) the Moor" and telling Roderigo to "make money" so that he can give gifts to Desdemona to win her over (1002). Through this technique, Iago is able to swindle money and jewels from Roderigo, making himself a substantial profit, while using Roderigo to forward his other goals.
Iago‟s Strategic Acts of Character Manipulation W.H. Auden once said, "There is more than meets the eye", suggesting that there may be a hidden or deeper meaning behind a person 's initial appearance. Lies and deceits are common in society, and many individuals mask their true intentions with a veneer. In Shakespeare 's play Othello, the character Iago is no different from those deceptive individuals. Behind his façade as a trustworthy ensign and friend, Iago is a multilayered, deceptive and manipulative villain, concocting chaos and causing mishaps toother characters for revenge.
Iago’s cunning strength lies in his ability to undermine every single character through their weaknesses. Specifically, Othello and Roderigo are the main victims of his lies and deceit. The trait Iago abuses in Roderigo is his naive nature. From the very start of the play, Iago cheats Roderigo of his money and later tricks him into attempting to kill Cassio: “I have no great devotion to the deed, / And yet he hath given me satisfying reasons. / ‘Tis but a man gone.