What sort of person is Cassio? In Act II, what happens to him, and how does Iago plan to use the situation in his plan against Othello?

Expert Answers info

Jay Gilbert, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Lecturer

bookB.A. from University of Oxford

bookM.A. from University of Oxford

bookPh.D. from University of Leicester

calendarEducator since 2017

write2,165 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

We do not learn very much about Cassio over the course of the play. A pawn in Iago's game, we know that he is a Florentine, rather than a Venetian, and that Iago thinks he is too inexperienced to have been granted the rank of lieutenant. According to Iago, he "never set a squadron in the field" and is rather bookish, "a great arithmetician." However, we also know that Othello, renowned as a general, saw some virtue in him, having selected Cassio specifically as his officer. Cassio is a man of seemingly better "breeding" than Iago, but Iago rightly interprets that his courtesy covers a polite, naive nature which will help Iago to "ensnare" him.

Iago knows that Othello thinks well of Cassio, and he must also know, beneath his jealousy, that Othello has good reason to do so—which is why he sets himself to destroying Cassio's reputation in act 2 in order to further his greater plan. Iago observes that Cassio is courteous and intimate with Desdemona; he is determined to use this against...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 559 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

sensei918 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write190 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Arts, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial