Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

At the beginning of the play, Iago divulges his vengeful and maliciously devious intention to manipulate and mislead Othello, his so-called friend. He tells Roderigo, "I follow him to serve my turn upon him." He means that he intends to mislead Othello by continuing to act as his trustworthy and obedient agent while, in fact, plotting against him.

Iago and Roderigo later successfully demonize Othello by convincing Brabantio that the general has abducted his beautiful daughter, Desdemona. Brabantio is driven to fury and decides to have Othello arrested for such an ignominy. At this point, Iago informs Roderigo that he has to leave and join Othello to further convince the general of his support. He tells Roderigo:

Yet, for necessity of present life,
I must show out a flag and sign of love,
Which is indeed but sign. 

Iago's action in this regard epitomizes the nature of his strategy, which is to convince the general of his total commitment. In this way, Iago will not only retain Othello's...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1325 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on