The devil is a being, formed by wrath, which acts through evil deeds. The devil played a main part in the making of Iago’s character. Although not all characters knew that Iago was deceiving them, Iago still manipulates people in order to further himself. The devil is able to disguise himself using a multitude of disguises as is Iago, who uses this ability to play on the vulnerability and human characteristics of the main characters to provoke their downfall, namely Othello, ultimately ending with their unhappiness.
Iago constantly pretends to act as a nice, wholesome man while still maintaining a ruthless personality. “But I will wear my heart on my sleeve/ For daws to peck at. I am not what I am.”(1.1.71) Iago contrasts himself with a biblical reference, in order to portray his evil acts without using the exact words. He also describes that he has a sleeve implying that he is wearing a disguise. This allows for Iago to corrupt Othello’s mind and turn him into a untrusting human that turns against everyone including his wife.
Iago does not waste time in taking the first steps in ruining Othello’s reputation. He does so by using a comparison between Othello’s race and the devil.
“Your heart is burst. You have lost half your soul.
Even now, now, very now, an old black ram
Is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise!
Awake the snorting citizens with the bell,
Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you.” (1.1.96-100)
While yelling at Barbantio, Iago tells him of Othello and Desdemona’s affairs and says that Othello would create a devil child. Iago shows irony since he is the one that has the mind of devilish thoughts and his immortality because he does not think of the effects on others.
Since Iago finds Barbantio the easiest to persuade of Othello’s appalling acts, he continues to compare Othello’s black skin to that of an animal.