Iago has a persuasive tongue and knows how to emotionally manipulate people. He has an easy time with Roderigo, who is a fool. Roderigo tells Iago he is so upset that Othello married his beloved Desdemona that he wants to drown himself. Iago tells him that romantic love is a ridiculous illusion and only to drown kittens. He manipulates Roderigo by telling him to look instead to the future. He says that Desdemona will soon tire of Othello, so Roderigo should save his money to be able to woo her with jewels and fine gifts. Iago says:
It cannot be that Desdemona should long continue her
love to the Moor—put money in thy purse . . .
When Roderigo gives money to Iago to buy jewels, the money—surprise!—disappears.
Iago does his best to persuade Roderigo to his own sordid view that love is no more than carnal desire and that Roderigo should go after it any way he can, stating:
if thou canst cuckold him, thou dost
thyself a pleasure, me a sport.
With Brabantio, Desdemona's...
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