Look again at Iago's first three soliloquies. What information do they give us with regard to his character and motivation?.
The purpose of soliloquies in Shakespeare's plays is to express the genuine feelings or beliefs of the characters speaking them. His play Othello is no exception and the soliloquy is most significantly used by the character Iago. The nature of Iago's role in the play means that we can only be sure that his words are a true expression of his feelings when he is talking in soliloquy. Despite being widely known as honest Iago', this man is a sophisticated villain who thrives on deception. His skills of improvisation are so developed that every word he speaks to another person is a calculated drive for self-advancement. As such, his true character is only fully revealed when he is alone on stage. .
We hear his first soliloquy at the end of act 1 scene 3. Having persuaded Roderigo to accompany him to Cyprus, Roderigo leaves much cheered. Iago remains, alone and delivers his soliloquy. Up until now in the play Iago's motivation has not been wholly clear. This short soliloquy goes someway to untangling the web that is Iago's mind. He reveals that he is toying with Roderigo, who considers Iago a friend, for my sport and profit'. This illuminates the motives for his manipulative behaviour towards Roderigo. It is a perverse and vindictive man that spends his leisure time abusing his acquaintances for amusement. The nature of this relationship indicates how sharp minded Iago is. He is able to turn any situation to benefit himself. In Roderigo he sees potential for gain, both monetary and leisure. The fact that Roderigo is taken in by this exploitative act is not to his detriment because as we learn later, Iago succeeds in deceiving Venice's finest. Because of this, Iago evidently does not enjoy real friendship with anyone, preferring the twisted entertainment of his own inventions.