In Othello, what insights do you gain from the soliloquy in Act II, scene 1 about the character of Iago?

Expert Answers
rshaffer eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Iago's soliloquy, it is reveals his motivation to execute his destructive plot against Othello.  The reader is able to further get into the devious mind of Iago and see exactly the lengths that Iago will go to destroy Othello.  For example, he knows that Desdemona and Cassio love each other, but not in a sexual manner, and he uses this affection for one another to begin his plot of revenge.  Iago will even go as far as to use Othello's vulnerabilities against him.  Iago makes reference to Othello being "of a constant, loving, noble nature."  Iago doesn't think twice about using this weakness against Othello.  Iago even says that he (Iago) loves Desdemona "not out of absolute lust," but as a pawn in his game of revenge.  The reader also gains insight into Iago's suspicions of Emilia's infidelity.  By showing this, Shakespeare is showing the reader that Iago will not stop at anything until he is satisfied by revenge.  It also shows the reader that Iago is in tune with Othello's weakness of jealousy because Iago possesses the same flaw.  It could be that the jealousy Iago wants to excite in Othello is a manifestation of his jealousy in believing that Emila and Cassio have been unfaithful.