One of the reasons Iago gives for his hatred of Othello is the rumor that "'twixt my sheets he has done my office," I surprisingly polite way for Iago to say that Othello slept with his (Iago's) wife, Emilia. (This from a man who told Desdemona's father that he'd better hurry up and locate his daughter because she was busy having sex with an animal ("you'll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse...your nephews will neigh at you".)
So my question is this -- I believe, though I can't quite find exact proof right at the moment, that Othello and Emilia must share the stage at some point. Does Othello ever directly address Emilia? Whether he does or not, has anybody ever seen a production, or considered one, where evidence is given that Iago's suspicions are correct?
What would such an interpretation do to Iago's character? Say, hypothetically, that we staged an Othello were it was perfectly obvious that Othello had indeed slept with Iago's wife. Would that make us sympathize with what Iago is about to do? We already know that Othello is a flawed man, so I'm not sure how much he'd change if we added "lust" to "jealousy" in the list of primal urges he has trouble controlling. It would almost certainly make the whole jealousy thing far more obvious, since he's got a reason to watch out for men sleeping with his wife.
I hadn't actually made that connection when I first started this post. *Did* Othello sleep around? Is that why he's so crazy jealous?