In this scene Iago tells Othello to hide so that he can prove to Othello that Desdemona is cheating with Cassio. He does this by Bring Cassio in and asking him about Bianca, the prostitute that Cassio is currently involved with. While Iago asks Cassio about their relationship Othello hides thinking that he is talking about Desdemona. This is a external conflict because Iago's plan is affecting the way Othello reacts and thinks about Desdemona and his relationship with her. Iago causes Othello to later lash out a Desdemona causing conflict between Othello and Desdemona. This is shown in Act 4 scene 1 pg 199-203. "IAGO That's not amiss;But yet keep time in all. Will you withdraw? OTHELLO retires Now will I question Cassio of Bianca,A housewife that by selling her desires Buys herself bread and clothes: it is a creature That dotes on Cassio; as 'tis the strumpet's plague To beguile many and be beguiled by one:He, when he hears of her, cannot refrain From the excess of laughter. Here he comes: Re-enter CASSIO As he shall smile, Othello shall go mad;And his unbookish jealousy must construe Poor Cassio's smiles, gestures and light behavior,Quite in the wrong. How do you now, lieutenant?" This plan for Othello causes him to lash out and jeopardize his marriage. His problem is against Cassio and Desdemona making it a man v. man conflict.
In this scene Othello had just discovered from Iago that Desdemona might be cheating on him. Othello is contemplating why she would do it and if she would actually do it. This brings out his insecurities and shows that he is struggling with his self-esteem. This is an internal conflict. It is internal because Othello starts having self-doubts about himself and his relationship with Desdemona. He is unsure if she really ever loved him and if he is worth loving. This is shown in Act 3 scene 3 pg 151 "OTHELLO This fellow's of exceeding honesty,And knows all qualities, with a learned spirit,Of human dealings. If I do prove her haggard,Though that her jesses were my dear heartstrings,I'ld whistle her off and let her down the wind,To pray at fortune. Haply, for I am black And have not those soft parts of conversation That chamberers have, or for I am declined Into the vale of years,--yet that's not much--She's gone. I am abused; and my relief Must be to loathe her. O curse of marriage,That we can call these delicate creatures ours,And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad,And live upon the vapour of a dungeon,Than keep a corner in the thing I love For others' uses. Yet, 'tis the plague of great ones; Prerogatived are they less than the base;'Tis destiny unshunnable, like death:Even then this forked plague is fated to us When we do quicken."
In this scene Iago tells Othello about the alleged affair that he thinks is happening with Desdemona and Cassio. He does this to get Othello jealous so that he could lash out and do something that will destroy him. This is an example of an external conflict because Iago's lies are causing Othello to question his relationship with Desdemona and makes him feel insecure which leads him to acting out. This is shown in Act 3 scene 3 pg 145. "IAGO I am glad of it; for now I shall have reason To show the love and duty that I bear you With franker spirit: therefore, as I am bound,Receive it from me. I speak not yet of proof.Look to your wife; observe her well with Cassio;Wear your eye thus, not jealous nor secure:I would not have your free and noble nature,Out of self-bounty, be abused; look to't:I know our country disposition well;In Venice they do let heaven see the pranks They dare not show their husbands; their best conscience Is not to leave't undone, but keep't unknown. OTHELLO Dost thou say so? IAGO She did deceive her father, marrying you;And when she seem'd to shake and fear your looks,She loved them most."