In Othello, we encounter Iago, one of Shakespeare's most evil characters. Iago is an officer in Othello's army and is jealous of Cassio's promotion to Lieutenant. Through deception and appearance, we see many lies and clever schemes unfold. The astonishing thing about Iago is that he seems to make up his malicious schemes as he goes along without any planning. Throughout the play, Iago portrays himself as an wicked figure and can be compared with the devil. Iago has proved himself to be a master of deception. He lies to everyone to disguise his own thoughts. For example, in Act 1 scene 2, when he is speaking to Othello about his feelings toward Cassio, he uses very strong language, while at the same time, he lies throughout the whole speech faking loyalty to a fellow soldier. He says, "I had rather have this tongue cut from my mouth. Than it should do offense to Michael Cassio". This deception impresses and convinces Othello that his officer is a good and loyal soldier. .
Iago also succeeds in deceiving Cassio. After Cassio's drunken fight, Iago encourages him to speak to Desdemona about trying to convince Othello to reinstate him as lieutenant. While Iago is talking to Cassio, he knows that this will only help his plan of having Othello see him with Desdemona. Evidently, Cassio is capable of being deceived by Iago. In Act II Iago gives a description of his plan of deception in a soliloquy. Iago describes how the devil uses the appearances of something good to disguise the various temptations that we know are evil. He tells how he will do the same while Cassio is begging Desdemona to tell Othello to take him back. Iago then will start his destructive scheme. The devil also deceives by lying and twisting the truth. .
Through deception, Iago creates the appearance of good, which is what fools the people around him into thinking that he is loyal and honest. Since Iago is an officer, he already has the appearance of being a good and honest man.