“Othello” is one of the most brilliant pieces of work that I've ever read. Iago is a fictional character, however there are many people in real life who act like Iago.
When I was living on the Magnetic Island in Australia, a former lawyer turned alcoholic named David came to the island. David convinced the mother of my former wife's husband Malcolm that her son did not love her and that all he wanted from her was her house, which was completely untrue. It took Malcolm a lot of effort to rebuild his relationship with his mother.
I have seen any number of Iago acts – some done deliberately, some done from false beliefs. A man may genuinely love a woman, then his bar buddies would convince him that the woman is doing the wrong thing by him, or that she is a bad person, or that his feelings for the woman are unmanly, or that he owes it to other men to keep women down. This destroys even the best relationships.
I have seen this happen; I have also had this happen. I loved very deeply a woman named Michelle, and her stepmother told her that I was using her. To this day I do not know if that woman lied or if she really believed what she said. However I have continued to love Michelle, even when she no longer was with me.
My former wife was with a man whose parents were Jehovah's Witnesses, and his mother manipulated him to be horrible to her. My sister was married to a man whose mother manipulated him to be vicious to her, even though he loved her. Luckily my sister had a good guidance from her loving and knowledgeable mother, and she left that man before he could do anything truly ugly to her.
So what I advocate is for people to watch out for the Iago element in society. It is for people to see through this vile bullshit and have the courage to love whom they love whatever any Iago wants to claim about them.
Now some people think that the romantic type are lacking in insight. I for one am not lacking in insight at all. And I am willing to use my insight to take on all Iagos that are out there, so that people who love one another can have a good life with one another.
And this is the case for all sorts of people from whom I have nothing to gain in return.
Shakespeare was a brilliant writer, and many of the things that he has written have value in our own lives. I am not as good a writer as Shakespeare, but I do see value in building upon his insights. If an Iago of any gender is trying to poison you against the person you love, the correct response is punching him in the face. And an even more correct response is continuing to love whom you love, whatever these scumbags have to say about it.