Seeing is Believing
Proof is something that all human beings seek. Without proving something in order for it to be valid we would have nothing to tell us when something is false. Everyday people use proof as a part of reason; it has been used to turn a hypothesis into a theory, a rumor into fact, without proof we would have nothing. There are many different ways to prove something, some more affective than others; having a person simply tell you something is true or false does not always do the job, but in simplistic matters it may be all they have to work with. More complex matters involve a type of proof that is the most concrete type of proof; ocular proof. Ocular proof ...view middle of the document...
Iago also believes that Othello has slept with his wife, making him even more bitter and claiming that he must now lust after Desdemona because Othello has done so with Emilia.
If I would time expand with such a snipe
But for my sport and profit. I hate the Moor;
And it is thought abroad that 'twixt my sheets
He's done my office. I know not if't be true;
But I, for mere suspicion in that kind,
Will do as if for surety (2.1.368-372).
Iago has no proof that Othello has slept with his wife, but based on his already existing hate for him Iago concludes that Othello has wronged him and that he will seek revenge. The revenge that Iago is looking for will satisfy both the assumption that his wife has slept with Othello and that Othello over looked him when choosing lieutenant. The idea of revenge is not just concentrated on only Othello, it is also spread towards his wife, Desdemona and, Cassio. Iago's obsession with revenge fuels his decisions as he leads Othello to trust him. Because Iago is part of the military, and Othello's ensign there is an amount of trust that Othello has in him. Suggesting that he has seen Cassio with an item of Desdemona's that has great personal value to Othello makes it so Othello has no choice but to believe him in some respect. Although Othello demands ocular proof to validate Iago's observation, there is still a basis of trust that makes Othello want greater proof.
Othello's reaction to the accusations that Iago has made about Desdemona are within reason to the severity of the account. Before he can begin to hold his wife accountable for her supposed actions he needs more proof than just what Iago has said: “No, Iago,/I'll see before I doubt;when I doubt, prove;/and on the proof, there is no more but this-/away at once with love or jealously” (3.3.204-207). Othello has trust in Iago, but needs more than just his word to make sure that it happened. The only proof that Othello would be satisfied with (at this point) is actually catching Cassio and Desdemona together. Iago understands the need for ocular proof but tries to divert Othello from this idea by telling him that there is no way they would get caught because they would not be having sex in a place where Othello could catch them. Because this seems to make sense to Othello he eases up on the idea of sole ocular proof and moves to the idea if there were strong circumstantial evidence may be enough to convince him that Iago is telling the truth: “But yet I say;/if imputation and strong circumstances/which lead directly to the door of truth/will give you satisfaction, you may have't” (3.3.422-425). Only with any evidence that is seen as concentrate may lead Othello to disregard the idea of ocular proof and to be replaced with the contentment of circumstantial evidence.
Iago tells Othello after explaining that strong evidence should be enough for him to believe his accusation against Desdemona is true he tells him that he and Cassio were in bed...