Act 2, Scene 3

Explain how Iago uses the truth for his own purposes

Asked by
Last updated by jill d #170087
Answers 1
Add Yours

Cassio laments that he has lost his reputation, which is very dear to him. Iago tries to convince him that a reputation means little; and, if he talks to Desdemona, maybe he can get her to vouch for him with Othello. This will help Iago hint that Desdemona and Cassio are together, which will enrage Othello. Iago then gives a soliloquy about knowing that Desdemona will speak for Cassio, and that he will be able to turn that against them both.


Cassio mourns the demise of his "reputation" above all else. Iago also knows the importance of reputation, which is why he makes sure that people see him as "honest" above anything else. "Reputation is a most idle and false imposition," Iago says; but this statement is a false consolation (II.iii.268-269). Cassio tries to find a villain in all that has happened; "invisible spirit of wine...Šlet us call thee devil" (II.iii.282-283). Of course, he misses the identity of the real devil in the situation, Iago. Good vs. evil is a major theme in the play, though there is a great deal of gray area; though Iago is the villain, everyone else has some blemish on their natures which makes them easily corruptible, and not entirely deserving of the label "good".