Why Did Iago Want Roderigo To Anger Cassio?

Updated 30 September, 2023
Iago uses Roderigo to get revenge on Cassio. He wants Roderigo to anger Cassio so that Cassio hurts him, which will cause Cassio to be dismissed from the army. Iago has his revenge on Cassio when Othello strips Cassio of his rank for misbehavior.
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In the play, Othello, written by Shakespeare, there is one character that really stands out to the audience and that is Roderigo. Roderigo is considered to be the second antagonist of the play. He may be a minor character, but his role within the play is very essential. From the very beginning, we see Roderigo and Iago having a conversation. Immediately, Roderigo’s first words create the tone and commence the plot. He states “Tush, never tell me! I take it much unkindly/ That thou, Iago, who has had my purse/ As if the strings were thine, shouldst know of this”. Roderigo is angry and has just found out that the woman he has been trying to win over is already married to Othello, a Moor. Upon him figuring this out, Roderigo goes to Brabantio to encourage him into killing Othello. Roderigo is a jealous character, and he believes the only way he can get to Desdemona is be killing Othello. Roderigo believes that if he gives Iago his money, then Iago will help him win over Desdemona’s love. Roderigo allows the audience to gain knowledge into Iago’s schemes. Although throughout this entire time, Roderigo was so determined to do whatever he needed to get Desdemona that he didn’t process that Iago was fooling him. The audience begins to have sympathy for Roderigo because he is acting as Iago doll, listening and doing whatever Iago says. Roderigo believes Cassio is another competitor, trying to win over Desdemona, so he believes he must do something about him, with the help of Iago. Without Roderigo, Cassio would have never gotten into the fight, which causes him to be dismissed from the army. Towards the end of the play, Roderigo begins to realize Iago’s manipulations saying, “Everyday thou daff’st me with some device”. Somehow Roderigo cannot escape Iago, and is once again manipulated to kill Cassio. In the end, Roderigo is even killed by his dear friend, Iago because Iago is afraid Roderigo will reveal his secret. Roderigo then out-wits Iago and writes a letter that he puts in his pocket stating Iago’s involvement in the entire storyline. Without Roderigo, Iago would have to find another dupe and Iago secret would have never been revealed.

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