﻿In the play Othello the most interesting character is Iago, who is commonly called and known as "Honest Iago." Ironically, this could not be farther from the truth.
Through some carefully thought-out words and actions, Iago is able to manipulate others to do things in a way that benefits and moves him closer to his own goals. He is smart and an expert at judging the characters of others. Because of this, Iago pushes everyone to their tragic end.
Iago wants vengeance on Othello so he targets his wife Desdemona. He slowly poisons people’s thoughts so they have distorted perceptions of reality, without them even knowing he did such a thing. In reality, Desdemona is quite an outspoken woman for her time. She pleas for Othello to have Cassio around so her husband can have good, solid protection. This aides Iago as he uses it against her. He starts by casually mentioning to Othello that he himself is a bit suspicious of Cassio and
Desdemona. He carries on gradually, ensuring that Othello can fully trust him every step of the way.
I hope you will consider what is spoke
Comes from my love. But I do see you’re moved.
I am to pray you not to strain my speech
To grosser issues nor to larger reach
Than to suspicion (III iii 231-235).
He even says himself that the advice he gives is free and honest so Othello won’t consider that he is just being fooled.
Iago’s plan of deception centered around Othello’s jealously over Desdemona.
The whole time, Othello holds Iago to be his close friend and advisor. Iago knows that the icing on the cake must be some sort of visual proof. He has his wife Emilia steal
Desdemona’s handkerchief and give it to him. Iago then plants it in Cassio’s room to imply that Desdemona must have given it to him. This “proves” to it to Othello. After hearing Iago stack up the cards high against Desdemona, Othello is enraged and sure that she must be having an affair with Cassio. Now Othello’s reaction to the whole mess is that he wants to kill Desdemona. Iago’s deceitful plan is continuing smoothly.
Desdemona’s reputation of being unfaithful leads to her downfall. When she denies the scam that Iago put against her, Othello doesn’t even believe her. Near the beginning of the play, after Othello marries Desdemona, her own father, Barbantio, warns Othello.
Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see.
She has deceived her father, and may thee (I iii 292-293).
Since she lied to her father about her marriage to Othello, people believe that