Shakespeare is prominent in his use of recurring themes throughout his works, particularly those of love, death, and betrayal. All these themes are present in Othello. Most dominant, however, are manipulation and jealousy. Jealousy runs the characters’ lives in Othello from the beginning of the play, when Roderigo is jealous of Othello because he wishes to be with Desdemona, and to the end of the play, when Othello is furious with jealousy because he believes Cassio and Desdemona have been engaging in an affair, but manipulation the prominent action that fuels the jealousy within Othello. Some characters’ jealousy is fashioned by other characters. Iago is involved in much of this, creating lies and implementing confusing situations.
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Manipulating Roderigo’s jealousy is actually masked by the hatred that Iago feels for Othello, however. Iago and Othello act upon what each other says and does. The two of them both have a goal in mind to have the upper hand over the other one. Othello wants answers and Iago wants to manipulate those who have hurt him. Thus, Iago turns conversations around to lead Othello to come up with conclusions that Iago wants and incite the Moor into being jealous of Cassio. By doing this, Iago waits for what Othello says to figure out how to respond to increase Othello’s jealousy. For example, Othello asks Iago about Cassio being with Desdemona when the two see them together in private. “Was that not Cassio parted from my wife?” questions Othello to Iago, to which Iago responds, “Cassio, my Lord?” Othello answers back, “I do believe ‘twas he”. Here, Iago has avoided the question proposed by Othello and thus asks another question, turning things around so that Othello actually answers his own question to which Othello believes.
Iago’s motivation for his evil acts is never specifically revealed in the play. He is upset and jealous that Cassio was chosen as lieutenant over him even though he, Iago, had more experience in the service. This causes an utmost hatred for Othello. His rejection of lieutenant is not really the reason for Iago’s