by: William Shakespeare

Five Key Questions

Summary Five Key Questions

4) How does Iago manipulate Desdemona?

After Cassio falls from Othello’s favor, Iago exploits Desdemona’s eagerness to bring the two men back together : “So will I turn her virtue into pitch / And out of her own goodness make the net” (2.3.). Iago plants the idea to Othello that something inappropriate may be happening between Cassio and Desdemona, and encourages Othello to pay attention to whether “your lady strain his entertainment / With any strong or vehement importunity” (3.3.). As a result, when Desdemona does intercede on Cassio’s behalf, Othello becomes very jealous and suspicious. Her innocent hopes that “let Cassio be received again” (3.4.) combine with other fears Iago has planted, and drive Othello almost mad with jealousy.