Shakespeare’s Othello is a tragedy which pursues the downfall of the protagonist, Othello through the manipulation and scheming of Iago, the antagonist, the racial difference and weaknesses of Othello and the role of women during the time. These universal themes of trust, insecurity, race and feminism all lead to the downfall of Othello.
Iago’s manipulative ways, in conjunction with Othello’s weaknesses, leads to his tragic end. Constant referral to Iago as “honest Iago” shows Othello’s deep trust towards him, his assumption of his honesty, making Othello incapable provide reason against Desdemona’s infidelity. His wild imagination, propelled by Iago also causes his rash actions which can be seen in act 4, scene 1 “…on her, what you will” “…We say lie on her…Lie with her!”   The audience is aware of Iago’s two-faced character from scene one, where Iago claims that “I am not what I am”.   Shakespeare emphasizes Iago’s intentions using dramatic irony such as Othello’s burst, “As if there were some monster in his thought” through the play. As Iago converses with Roderigo he’s true personality is conveyed, a malignant man, seemingly unable to understand love, describing it as “merely a lust of the blood” Iago manipulates his circumstances to suit his plans against Othello. In act 2 scene 3 Iago   gets Cassio drunk and causes a fight, resulting in Cassio’s position being taken away. Through this, Iago opens further opportunities to scheme against Othello, acting as a loyal companion “a Florentine more kind and honest” and gaining his trust, plants seeds of doubt in the insecure Othello and urging his jealousy. Iago is able to identify Othello’s flaws and use them against him. By hinting subtly to Othello and talking as an advising friend, Iago maintains his trust with Othello while making others around him seem suspicious. This can be seen when he pretends to say to himself, “Ha! I like not that!” intending Othello to hear, which causes him to dwell on the issue...