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Why does Iago choose Michael Cassio as an instrument of revenge against Othello?

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chloemink | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted January 26, 2007 at 6:17 AM via web

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Why does Iago choose Michael Cassio as an instrument of revenge against Othello?

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blacksheepunite | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted June 10, 2007 at 6:29 AM (Answer #1)

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Prospero is right in that Cassio's nature makes him a perfect candidate for exploitation--he is attractive, not without vice, and willing to use Desdemona's influence on Othello for personal gain (or, more accurately, recovery). There is one other factor, however, which makes Cassio a particularly good instrument of revenge: Iago hates him.

Iago hates Cassio because he was promoted instead of him. He also hates Cassio because he is naturally more attractive (in every way) than him (Iago says that Cassio has a "daily beauty" about him that makes Iago look ugly). In using Cassio, he can only cause him to fall further out of favour with Othello. This will eventually lead to Cassio's utter downfall. If Cassio falls, Iago is certain that this will leave the way open for him to rise and take Cassio's place.

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revolution | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted July 14, 2009 at 11:49 PM (Answer #2)

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He tries to make Michael Cassio provoke Othello and make him jealous of Cassio so that he would kill two birds with one stone, which would be a sweet deal and a swift progress. His main reason for doing this was that he wanted to inflict harm on both his superior and a candidate vying for a position that was rightfully his. He was being selfish by doing that, risking everybody to take over the position

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