The scene above portrays an external conflict between Othello and Iago. The setting displays a dialogue between Othello and Iago concerning how unfaithful Desdemona is becoming. Iago presents what he has seen between her and Cassio and manages to twist this information to imply that she is cheating on Othello. Othello's oblivious and gullible qualities allow Iago to easily manipulate him into thinking that Desdemona is having an affair with another. Even though Othello believes Iago is honest and trustworthy, it is all part of Iago's nature to trick him into thinking something horrid and untrue. Therefore, Iago presents an external character vs. character problem that is blatant to the reader but unseen to Othello. As stated in Act III, scene iii, "Iago: I'm glad to hear that. Now I can show you my devotion and my duty with more honesty... Watch your wife. Just watch how she is with Cassio. Just watch- don't be either completely suspicious or completely trustful. I wouldn't want to see you taken advantage of you... Othello: Do you really think so? Iago : She lied to her father to marry you. And when she pretended to be afraid of you, she loved you the most. Othello: That's right, she did. Iago: Well there you go. She was so young, but she deceived her father so toroughly he thought it was witchcraft! But I'm sorry I've blurted all this out." This indicates how Iago is able to control Othello, delineating the character vs. character problem that will later cause and foreshadow future events.
The scene illustrated above unveils Othello's internal conflict: emasculation. Here, Othello wrestles with his own thoughts about Desdemona and comes to the conclusion that she is cheating on him, when in fact, she isn't. He has fallen into Iago's trap and now has become unstable in his ability to moralize what is right and what is wrong. Othello has truly broken down mentally and can only fill his thoughts with suspicion, jealousy,anger, or images of Cassio with Desdemona. His jealousy is the barricade for his true feelings and this strong emotion prevents him from thinking rationally, causing him to drive himself into committing actions that he will later regret;furthermore, this internal conflict of man vs. self also contributes to further character problems in the play and may influence the turn of events of the plot. Thus, his jealousy clouds his own reasonable logic, proving to be an emotional dilemma that Othello must experience. As signified in Act IV, Scene i, "Othello: In bed with her? On top of her? I would have thought people were telling lies about her rather than believe he was lying on her...I'm trembling with rage. I wouldn't be trembling like this if I didn't know deep down this was all true. Nose, ears lips. Is it possible? Tell me the truth-handkerchief-damn it!( He falls into a trance)... A man who has been cheated on isn't a real man. He's subhuman, like an animal," depicting the psychological struggle that Othello encounters.(The green color of Othello's thought bubbles represents his emasculation)
The scene depicted above reveals an external conflict of character vs. character between Desdemona and Othello. Othello has already suspected and proven to himself that Desdemona is having an affair and therefore accuses her of doing so without actually telling her his thoughts. He asks for the handkerchief that he has given her, the most prized possession that she may own which shows his love for her, and she can't give it to him because she has lost it. This further supports his belief that his wife is with another man and this gives him the initiative to scream at Desdemona. Therefore, his anger and emasculation from his internal conflict leads to his broken relationship with his own wife. As presented in Act III, Scene iv, " Desdemona: Why are you yelling at me so angrily? Othello: Is it[the handerchief] lost? Is it gone? Tell me, is it missing?..bring it here. Let me see it. Desdemona: I could sir. But I don't want to now. This is just a trick...Bring me the handkerchief-my mind is full of doubt...Desdemona: Really, I don't think you're behaving very well. Othello: damn it!," conveying the argument that Desdemona and Othello have about the subject of her "affair" with Cassio. (the red color of Othello's speech bubble represents his anger)