‘The significant relationships in the play involve Othello, Iago, Cassio, Desdemona and Emilia.
The complex interactions between these five characters form the substance of the action and dictate its progress.
Iago’s sinister relationship with Othello colours and distorts the way in which Othello comes to see his own relationship with Desdemona. From Iago’s point of view, in order to destroy Othello’s relationship with Desdemona, he must first sever the bonds that unite Othello and Cassio.
Desdemona’s kindly interest in Cassio’s problems provides Iago with some of the “evidence” he needs to destroy her credit with Othello. Desdemona’s influence on Emilia has a profound effect on the way in which she comes to see the world and may be seen as the inspiration for Emilia’s principled, self-sacrificing action in exposing Iago’s evil deeds at the cost of her own life.
The two central relationships, however, are between Othello and Iago, and Othello and Desdemona.’