As a brave and honest soldier, Othello was loyal and expected loyalty from his companions. He would not have been successful in battle if he had not learned to trust his fellow soldiers. He himself was straightforward and honest in all his dealings and expected his companions to have the same attitude, but he was mistaken with Iago. He never questioned Iago‟s loyalty or honesty, yet Iago had determined to destroy Othello and did so through deceit. Othello could not foresee that Iago was all the time working cunningly to poison him with seeds of suspicion and jealousy. It was this willful and carefully planned instigation of Iago that „wrought‟ and „perplexed‟ him „in the extreme‟.
Although Othello was honoured as a mercenary, he was an outcast from the society in which he lived. He knew very well that Brabantio would not allow him to marry Desdemona because of his racial prejudice – Othello was black. Othello must have felt the sting of rejection, especially as Iago subtly hinted that Desdemona could have regretted her vows to him (Othello) and secretly desired to be with one of her own kind.
Furthermore Othello was much older than the young and strikingly beautiful Desdemona. When Iago had set up a plot to deceive him, he saw Desdemona speaking casually with the much younger and attractive Cassio. Cassio was easy-going and at ease amongst women, whereas Othello himself had stated that he was more used to a soldier‟s life. Through Iago‟s deceptive instigation, Othello was led to believe that Desdemona had preferred Cassio to him and that she had been unfaithful with Cassio. Othello would never had questioned Desdemona‟s loyalty and purity, if Iago had not constantly twisted and reinterpreted every event and truth. When Iago arranged for Othello to overhear a conversation between Desdemona and Cassio, the inner conflict in Othello reached a climax. Maddened by jealousy, Othello‟s