There are many theories as to what is Othello’s fatal flaw. Some argue that this is his insecurity in himself due to being older than Desdemona and the colour of his skin, others debate that his fatal flaw is his inability to fully understand emotion and that he himself is the flaw. Othello seems to remain at a distant from the most important events that directly affect him and because of this he gives himself a sense of ignorance that could ultimately play a vital part in his downfall. However, this ignorance gives Iago many opportunities to manipulate and use Othello. Iago tries his hardest to influence every move that Othello makes and manages to succeed. Iago uses him as a front man to voice his own views and set his own plans into motion, he successfully dictates Othello’s most vital moves. There is evidence in the play which supports both Othello being a fatally flawed character and him being an instrument of Iago’s actions.
The beginning of the play begins in darkness (as does the opening of Hamlet) supplying an eerie and unsteady atmosphere. During Act 1, scene 1, Iago admits to Roderigo that his apparently loyal attitude is not as it seems and that he is only serving Othello to further himself, “throwing but shows of service on their lords, Do well thrive by them and when they have lined their coats do themselves homage” this instantly suggests that Iago will use Othello’s trust in him to his own advantage and possibly foreshadows the vicious way in which he sabotages Othello’s relationship with Desdemona, the way in which Othello’s thoughts are manipulated and his insecurities play upon by Iago. Whilst Iago and Roderigo speak of Othello, they refer to him not by his name but as “thick lips”. They have picked at a distinctive feature that brings out a sense of his foreignness and black heritage. They play on his race to spread common misconceptions of the black stereotype to other characters in the play. This also suggests that a sinister plot against Othello will emerge since it is conforming the severe hostility towards him. Act 1, scene 2, begins when Iago goes to see Othello and tells him of how Roderigo betrayed his trust by announcing his engagement with Desdemona to her father, Brabantio. The audience know that this is not how straight forward the sequence of events were and of Iago influence in this. This conforms the suspicions of Iago having sinister plans for Othello since his loyalty is completely fake and Othello’s trust in him is already being thoroughly abused, this also tells us that there is bound to be worse to come. when Cassio enters, Iago uses a rather uncomplimentary metaphor to tell him what Othello has done in concern with desdemona, he says: "He tonight hath boarded a land-carrack". This makes it obvious that Iago’s plans with involve desdemona in some way.