How Does Iago Corrup Othello in Shakespear's Othello

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Finally, the most effective way Iago poisons Othello’s mind is by changing the appearance of reality. He will cover it up with lies and Othello will be forced to believe him because he will be too submerged in doubt and suspicion to see the truth. In act 3, scene 3, when Cassion parts from Desdemona, Iago makes it appear as if Cassio “steal away so guilty-like”(Shakespeare, act 3, scene 3) because he did not want to be seen with Desdemona. While it appears really bad from Othello point of view, the reality of it is completely different. Cassio, who has been demoted, wishes to gain back his good will with Othello with Desdemona’s help.

Iago tricks Othello by making him believe that every seemingly harmless encounter between Cassio and Desdemona are actually lies and that they are seeing each other behind his back. To the readers of the play it is quite obvious the nature of their encounter but to Othello who judges with eyes clouded by jealousy, he can only see the harm being done. Othello is unable to make a rational decision because he is too deep in madness. Iago has poisoned his mind and ruined his judgement. To further poison Othello’s mind, Iago will set up Cassio and Othello. In act 4, scene 1, while Othello is hidden in the shadows; Iago approaches Cassio and starts a conversation with him. Othello believes the base of the conversation will be about his wife Desdemona because it is what Iago told him he would do: interrogate Cassio about Desdemona. But the reality of it is different. Iago is actually talking to Cassio about Bianca. Othello is caught up in the illusion; he now truly believes that Desdemona is unfaithful towards him. Jealousy clouds one’s mind. Othello in able to see that Iago is playing him; he is too deep in his own illusions to notice that he is being used. Because Othello’s judgement is clouded, Iago is able to make things appear differently. With his rational thinking gone, Othello is incapable of differencing reality from...
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