What is Iago's plan and purpose in Act 1, scene 3 of Othello?  

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Iago expresses his plan and purpose in a soliloquy at the end of Act 1, Scene 3. He plans to get Cassio's position as Othello's lieutenant by making Othello jealous of the handsome, flirtatious younger man, and at the same time he plans to get revenge against Othello by making him jealous of Desdemona. Iago describes his purpose as "double knavery." He can gain a promotion for himself by undermining Cassio's position, while at the same time he can spoil Othello's new marital happiness by making the Moor jealous of his beautiful wife. At this point in the play it is not suggested that Iago is thinking of getting Othello to murder Desdemona or even getting him to divorce her. He simply wants to create jealousy and suspicion. Iago also states in this soliloquy that he intends to get as much money as possible out of Roderigo, who is foolishly infatuated with Desdemona.


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