Compare and contrast how Iago sees Desdemona with how Cassio sees Desdemona.

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In general, Michael Cassio is depicted as the consummate gentleman who respects and admires Desdemona. Cassio is an attractive man as well as a loyal subject of Othello. Therefore, Cassio goes out of his way to treat Desdemona politely and make her feel comfortable, which is something Iago exploits and uses to make Othello jealous. In contrast, Iago's feelings towards Desdemona are complex. Unlike Cassio, Iago is a misogynistic individual who does not respect or value women. In act 2, scene 1, Iago has a conversation with Desdemona where he rails about the duplicitous nature of women and refuses to give her a compliment. Iago goes on to say that the ideal woman would simply "suckle fools and chronicle small beer" (Shakespeare, 2.1.160).

Despite Iago's overt prejudice against women, he reveals his complex feelings for Desdemona later in the scene. Iago admits that he also loves Desdemona but is primarily driven by revenge because he suspects Othello slept with his wife. Therefore, one...

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on January 29, 2020
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