What type of betrayal occurs in Othello?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Othello, Othello betrays the love and trust in his relationship with Desdemona.  Iago exploits Othello's personal weaknesses and vulnerabilities to make him believe that Desdemona was having an affair with Michael Cassio.  Iago has Emilia steal the handkerchief, and he plants this as "evidence" of the affair.  Othello does not ask Desdemona what is going on, nor does he consider that Cassio gained the handkerchief by other means.  Othello puts more trust in Iago's lies, and by doing so, he betrays the love and trust that he has with his wife.  His betrayal of Desdemona, and himself, leads to his downfall.