A modern audience may ridicule at Iago’s charges that Desdemona has been spirited away by witchcraft, but to an Elizabethan, her action of elopement with a Moor must have needed some explanation. Shakespeare wrote the play when public anxiety in England over the dangers of witchcraft was intense. Paradoxically, witchcraft would have been the rational explanation.
Power, its distribution and shifts of power are implicitly explored through Iago, his motivations and his characteristics. When discussing the promotion Iago did not receive, Iago claims that ‘he knows his price’ and that ‘he is no worse a place’. While this could be dismissed as an overreaction to not receiving a position, it must be taken into context. Iago is 28 years old and by considering the nature of the Elizabethan times, it is possible that Iago had been a soldier for