Over on Shakespeare Answers, somebody asked Why Iago asks Roderigo to kill Cassio. In writing up my answer, I noticed something that strikes me as an odd gap, almost like Shakespeare did it on purpose.
Check out the end of Act 4, Scene 2:
Why, by making him uncapable of Othello’s place;
knocking out his brains.
And that you would have me to do?
Ay, if you dare do yourself a profit and a right.
He sups to-night with a harlotry, and thither will I
go to him: he knows not yet of his horrorable
fortune. If you will watch his going thence, which
I will fashion to fall out between twelve and one,
you may take him at your pleasure: I will be near
to second your attempt, and he shall fall between
us. Come, stand not amazed at it, but go along with
me; I will show you such a necessity in his death
that you shall think yourself bound to put it on
him. It is now high suppertime, and the night grows
to waste: about it.
I will hear further reason for this.
And you shall be satisfied.
Iago has stated to Roderigo that to keep Othello and Desdemona for leaving for Mauritania, they need to remove Cassio from the picture (since he would be the one left in charge). When Roderigo asks why he has to do it, Iago says “I’ll show you why he has to die, and you’ll be in such agreement that you’ll want to be the one to do it.”
When we next see them, however?
I have no great devotion to the deed;
And yet he hath given me satisfying reasons:
‘Tis but a man gone. Forth, my sword: he dies
I must be missing something, because on this rainy Monday morning that reads almost comically to me – I envision Iago putting his arm around Roderigo, walking off stage saying “Let me explain it to you…” and then 2 seconds later them coming back on stage with Roderigo saying, “Oh, ok, I understand, that makes sense.” It’s like Shakespeare didn’t really have a good answer to that question so he phoned that one in.
What am I missing?