Study Guide

Othello Hate

By William Shakespeare


Act 1, Scene 3

Though I do hate him as I do hell pains,
Yet, for necessity of present life,
I must show out a flag and sign of love—
Which is indeed but sign. (1.1.171-174)

I hate the Moor,
And it is thought abroad, that 'twixt my sheets
'Has done my office. I know not if 't be true,
But I, for mere suspicion in that kind,
Will do as if for surety. (1.3.429-433)

Iago says his hatred of Othello is based on jealousy.

Act 2, Scene 1

Now, I do love her too,
Not out of absolute lust (though peradventure
I stand accountant for as great a sin)
But partly led to diet my revenge
For that I do suspect the lusty Moor
Hath leaped into my seat—the thought whereof
Doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards,
And nothing can or shall content my soul
Till I am evened with him, wife for wife,
Or, failing so, yet that I put the Moor
At least into a jealousy so strong
That judgment cannot cure. Which thing to do,
If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trace
For his quick hunting, stand the putting on,
I'll have our Michael Cassio on the hip,
Abuse him to the Moor in the rank garb
(For I fear Cassio with my night-cap too), (2.1.313-329)

Yet here, Iago's hatred is rooted in his suspicion that Othello was sleeping with his wife.

Act 2, Scene 3

And 'tis great pity that the noble Moor
Should hazard such a place as his own second
With one of an engraffed infirmity.
It were an honest action to say so
To the Moor.
                   Not I, for this fair island.
I do love Cassio well and would do much
To cure him of this evil—                "Help, Help!" within.
                                           But, hark! what noise? (2.3.144-152)

Iago speaks of loving Cassio in the same terms with which he often speaks of loving Othello. We suspect, then, that he hates Cassio, since he also hates Othello.

Act 4, Scene 1

Ay, let her rot, and perish and be damned
tonight, for she shall not live. No, my heart is turned
to stone. I strike it, and it hurts my hand. O, the
world hath not a sweeter creature! She might lie by
an emperor's side and command him tasks. (4.1.200-204)

Iago transforms the passion of Othello's love into hatred.