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?

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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...

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