Othello’s ancient (captain) in the Venetian defence forces. He had hoped for promotion, but Othello rejected him in favour of Cassio. This leads Iago to seek revenge on both men and becomes the villain of the play. 

He exploits Roderigo as a source of money and an unwitting accomplice in his plot to bring down Othello. When finally cornered and charged with his wickedness, Iago refuses to speak.


‘But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve for daws to peck at’

‘I am not what I am’

‘Your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs’

‘Poison his delight…Plague him with flies’

‘An old black ram is tupping your white ewe’

‘I hate the moor’

‘By Janus, I think no’

‘Barbary horse…your nephews neigh to you’

‘Thieves, thieves!

‘To abuse Othello’s ear’

‘Hell and night must bring this monstrous world to the world’s light’

‘Put money in thy purse…fill thy purse with money…make money’

‘ Devil’

‘I must show out a flag and sign of love’

‘O, you are well-tuned now! But I’ll set down the pegs that make this music, as honest as I am’

‘faith, he tonight hath boarded a land carrack…he’s married’

‘our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners’

‘her delicate tenderness will…abhor the moor. Very nature will instruct her in it, and compel her to some second choice’

‘ Men are men’

‘ This is the night’ ‘That either makes me or fordoes [undoes] me quite’

‘out of her own goodness make the net that shall enmesh them all’

‘divinity of hell’

‘when devils will the blackest sins put on, they do suggest at first with heavenly shows’

‘she is of so free, so kind, so apt, so blest a disposition’

‘our general’s wife is now the general’

‘if she had been blest she would never have loved the Moor’

‘the Moor…is of a constant, loving, noble nature’

‘nothing can or shall content my soul till I am evened with him’

‘I put the Moor into a jealousy so strong that judgement cannot cure’

‘I cannot think it that he would steal away so guilty-like’

‘men should be what they seem’

‘he that filches from me my good name…makes me poor indeed’

‘O beware, my lord, of jealousy: it is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on’

‘In Venice they do let God see the pranks’

‘she did deceive her father, marrying you’

‘not to strain my speech to grosser issues nor to larger reach than to suspicion’

‘not to affect many proposed matches of her own clime, complexion and degree’

‘one may smell, in such, a will most rank’

‘her will…happily repent’

‘[snatching it] why, what’s that to you?’

‘trifles light as air are to the jealous confirmations strong as proofs of holy writ’

‘you are eaten up with passion’

‘as prime as goats, as hot as monkeys, as salt as wolves in pride’

‘breaks out to savage madness’

‘now will I question Cassio of Bianca…he, when he hears of her, cannot refrain from the excess of laughter’

‘strangle her in her bed’

‘charm your tongue’

‘from this time forth I never will speak word’

‘ensnare as great a fly as Cassio’

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