Act 3 Sc 3.5 Iago sneaks into Cassio’s house to hide Othello’s handkerchief while muttering to himself. Iago is not sure how to make sure Cassio will find and carry the handkerchief, but quickly improvises. He looks for the cabinet or drawer in which Cassio keeps his Lieutenant dressings, because he knows the Cassio is still trying to be reinstated, remarking that he will no longer need them. When he finds them he slips the handkerchief into the pocket of Cassio’s outfit. To himself, Iago again accuses Othello of sleeping with Emilia, and comments on the hypocrisy of Othello being angry at Cassio because of it. He also talks of his plan to surpass his goal of gaining Lieutenancy: to annihilate Othello. Iago then turns and looks in the mirror, and begins talking about himself, saying how he is different from the others. He then turns to leave, letting out a grim prophecy for Othello.
Upon this lodging a villain does step
To summon something monstrous from the deep.
On the lady Divine a vengeful vow has been placed,
And Cassio too must Othello’s rage smite.
A snipe! To take thinking as knowing,
He sees what I allow and finds proof in illusion.
Othello does undo his own weavings of crop,
And water the vine that strangles his mind.
As if he were honest, and I were the Moor.
Caught the vile fly makes itself,
Blind to the web I have strung.
[Holding up the handkerchief]
And with but this cloth he will be all the more hoaxed.
I clutch here the breaker of love’s bond,
The wrecker of such a foolish bridge
And the pillager of each end.
But how to use it? Let me see.
—I must ensure it fulfills its use,
And appears as proof before the watching eye—
Here, I know it. Into his wrongly appointed pockets
I must place this jewel, for he still seeks his post returned.
It is time they have their last use.
This to a mountainous assemblage of suspicion will add,
But for such fools no such mercy will be had.
As in ancient times replaced by his killer the murdered shall be,
I will slash our Michael Cassio to fully claim the Lieutenancy.
[He puts the handkerchief in the pocket]
Now the Moor, who hath lustfully boarded my carrack,
Will up in arms against that which he also be,
A heaving hare atop a mounted mare.
And in speaking of my manly duty,
I must bear in mind her knowledge of the rag
With which I ensnare the knave.
But halt in my new vestments I will not,
Stripped and ground to the bone he will be,
Festering sockets where sight once lived,
His bones made brittle will turn to dust.
[Iago turns and looks in the mirror]
What perfectly villainous sight I see,
For love and duty not I,
They are but pitiful principles,
That I do make mine own minions.
And among such a congregation of whimpering fools,
I do pretend a part in it.
Thus I take my mission to clip the wings,
Of this black crow among white doves.
He is thinking only, but thinking not,
And the need for knowing has been forgot.
[Iago walks to the door]
Off I go to punish both him and that which he used to adore,
One who be innocent but through his eyes a whore.
Amongst the fair sheep an old ram there will be no more,
Upon the time of this plan’s unfold there will be no Moor.