In Shakespeare's Othello, the tragic hero, Othello falls prey to the ingenious Lucifer, Iago and willingly chooses to trust him rather than his wife, Desdemona, eventually working together to plot her death. This is mainly attributed to Othello's high regard of Iago as a friend, as well as Iago's manipulation of Othello's insecurities involving both his place in Venetian society and within his marriage. His didactic view of women also place further reason for Othello to trust Iago over Desdemona. Finally, it is the apparent "proof” that Iago provides Othello with concerning the alleged affair of Cassio and Desdemona that unequivocally sways all of Othello's trust from Desdemona and into the vicious hands of Iago.
From Act 1, Othello's implicit trust towards Iago is made clear. He holds firm belief and reliability in Iago's statements and thoughts, confiding in him regularly. Like many others characters in the play, Othello is unable to see past the "Janus” of Iago's character, referring to him as "good Iago” and holding great faith in "thy (Iago's) honesty and love” trusting his prized jewel, Desdemona to him. "I assign my wife to thee”. Furthermore, the two had known each other for many years, having fought many battles together. Othello also often declares, "I love thee” to Iago, implying the closeness that he believes he shares with Iago.
On the contrary, the trust and love that Othello shows Desdemona is almost fanciful and self-centred. Initially, he espouses complete romantic love for her, placing her on a pedestool. He speaks of her in suggestive terms as "my soul's joy”, and even refers to her as "Promethean heat” prior to murdering her, the vital fire that gives life to the world. However it is this extreme romantic love that allows his views to swing didactically towards jealous love. This in turn becomes the root of Othello's mistrust of Desdemona.