Act 1 Scene 1 Iago and Roderigo are in an argument. “Tush never tell me.” Roderigo tells Iago to stop messing around with his money and accuses him of hating Othello. Iago says of course he does. “I am not what I am.” Iago convinces Roderigo to go to Desdemona’s father. Brabantio sees that his daughter is gone. Calls a council.
Act 1 Scene 2 Iago asks Othello if he’s ‘fast married’ because he heard Roderigo saying “scurvy and provoking terms”. Othello says that with all his merits and his love for Desdemona, he isn’t worried. Othello gets called to a council for war. Brabantio shows up and goes off on Othello and says he charmed her. They both exit to the council.
Act 1 Scene 3 In the council talking about the Turkish invasion that’s about to happen. Othello enters. Brabantio says his daughter has been stolen and the council says they will punish the offender. Othello is blamed and he replies by saying that he did not charm her, but that she loves him. Brabantio refutes and Othello says to bring Desdemona. While she is coming Othello tells of how they fell in love. Brabantio gives his blessing and Othello is sent to Cyprus. Brabantio warns Othello of Desdemona betraying him. Roderigo tells Iago that he wants Desdemona and Iago responds with “put money in they purse.” Also Iago says the Roderigo will enjoy Desdemona when she is ‘sated’ with the Moor.
Act 2 Scene 1 Montano (Governor or Cyprus) speaks with two gentlemen about a storm at sea. A third gentleman enters and says that the Turks have been sunk by a storm. Cassio has arrived, Othello has not. Cassio enters and says he is worried for Othello and mentions how amazing his wife is. Iago and Desdemona enter and she is worried about Othello’s arrival. Iago starts insulting Emilia. Iago and Desdemona argue over Emilia’s mannerisms. Desdemona asks what nice thing Iago has to say about her. Starts talking about women who are witty and pretty, witty and ugly, etc. Iago sees Cassio take Desdemona’s hand and tells the audience how he will capture him. Otello enters and says sweet things to Desdemona. Iago and Roderigo talk about Cassio being in love with Desdemona. Says Othello is too ugly for Desdemona, she’s getting bored, convincing Roderigo that she isn’t faithful. Tells Roderigo to make Cassio angry so that Iago can get the public angry at him. Says he hates the Moor because he thinks he slept with Emilia and explains his plan to make Othello hate Cassio.
Act 2 Scene 2 Othello’s Herald says they are celebrating that night because they Turks have been defeated and he is newly married.
Act 2 Scene 3 Othello tells Cassio that Iago is a good man and leaves to consummate his marriage with Desdemona. Iago tells Cassio that Desdemona is wanton and gets him to drink wine. Iago has a soliloquy on getting Cassio to get in a fight. Cassio leaves drunk and Iago tells Montano that Cassio is a good soldier but a drunk. Montano says that Othello should be told. Cassio then chases Roderigo on stage. Iago tells Roderigo to stand down and Cassio stabs Roderigo. Othello then arrives and Iago says he does not want to hurt his friend Cassio. Othello then dismisses Cassio and goes back to bed. Iago tells Cassio to appeal to Desdemona, because she will change Othello’s mind. Iago has a soliloquy about convincing Othello that Cassio and Desdemona are together. Roderigo enters angry because Iago has all his money and Iago tells him not to return to Venice. Roderigo leaves. Iago says he will tell Emilia to tell Desdemona to convince Othello to allow back Cassio. Then he will tell Othello about their affair.
Act 3 Scene 1 There a musicians, and a clown sent by Othello tells them to leave. Cassio asks the musicians to find Emilia so that he can speak with Desdemona. Iago tells Cassio he will bring Emilia. Clown and Iago leaves and Emilia enters. She tells Cassio that Othello thinks Montano does not want Cassio reinstated even though Othello wants to. Emilia allows Cassio to enter and wait for Desdemona.
Act 3 Scene 2 Iago, Othello and someone else walk to a citadel. Othello gives Iago some letters to deliver and decides to look at the fortification.
Act 3 Scene 3 Desdemona, Cassio and Emilia enter. Desdemona says she will help Cassio. Othello says he will meet with him but seems like he doesn’t want to. Othello says he wants to be left alone for a while. Cassio leaves quickly and Iago tells Othello that Cassio has no reason to act guilty. Iago begins to tell Othello that Cassio was their messenger when they were courting. Iago hints that Cassio is not honest and that they are sleeping together. Othello screams at Iago to speak his mind and Iago says to watch Cassio with Desdemona. Othello tells Iago to have Emilia watch Desdemona with Cassio. Then Iago says to leave it alone. Othello is convinced that Desdemona no longer loves him. Desdemona and Emilia enter. Othello says his head hurts and Desdemona offers her handkerchief. It falls on the ground and Emilia picks it up to give to Iago. Iago plans to put the hankerchief in Cassio’s room. Othello enters and says his soul is in torment and that he would rather be deceived. Iago says that Cassio calls out Desdemona’s name in his sleep. Iago says Cassio wiped his beard with Desdemona’s hankerchief. Othello says they both must die and Iago vows to help.
Act 3 Scene 4 Desdemona tells the clown to find Cassio and tell him she has tried to convince Othello. Then she asks Emilia where her hankerchief is. Othello enters and tells Desdemona her hand is moist (sign of infidelity). He asks for the hankerchief and when she doesn’t he tells her how his mother obtained it. He gets mad and Desdemona tries to talk about Cassio. Othello leaves and Cassio enters. Emilia says that men are moody, Desdemona tells Cassio it’s a bad time because Othello isn’t happy. Emilia says Othello is jealous but Desdemona says it’s just politics. She tells Cassio to go wait while she finds Othello. Then Bianca enters and gets mad at Cassio for not seeing her enough.
Act 4 Scene 1 Othello and Iago enter. Iago says that there is no crime if two are naked but nothing happens. He continues to allude to infidelity. Finally he says Cassio laid with Desdemona. Cassio enters and Othello has a seizure. Cassio leaves. Iago tells Othello to hide. Cassio returns and talks about Bianca. Bianca then enters with the hankerchief. Cassio leaves and Othello decides how to kill Cassio. Othello wants to poison Desdemona but Iago says to strangle her. Desdemona enters with Lodovico. Othello has been called back to Venice and Desdemona is happy. Othello hits her. Desdemona leaves and then returns only to be told she is promiscuous. Lodovico is astounded.
Act 4 Scene 2 Othello asks Emilia about Desdemona’s behaviour and Emilia says nothing has happened. Othello asks Emilia to get Desdemona. When they return Othello tells Emilia to guard the door while they have sex. Othello tells Desdemona that she has ruined his bloodline and their marriage. Desdemona defends herself and Othello leaves. Emilia tries to comfort Desdemona. Iago enters and Desdemona asks him what is wrong with Othello. He says Othello is upset for other reasons. Emilia says some villain put the idea into Iago’s mind. Emilia and Desdemona leave, Roderigo enters. He says that he wants to tell Desdemona he loves her. Says Cassio is with Desdemona and Othello is leaving soon. Tells Roderigo that if he wants to keep Desdemona there, he needs to kill Cassio.
Act 4 Scene 3 Othello walks with Lodovico and sends Desdemona to bed without Emilia. Desdemona says that if she dies, to wrap her in her wedding sheets. Desdemona sings the “willow song.” Desdemona asks Emilia if she would cheat on Iago. Emilia says no but it would be worth it. Also mentions that women also have sexual hungers and if a woman cheats it’s her husband’s fault for not stopping it. Desdemona disagrees.
Act 5 Scene 1 Iago and Roderigo are waiting for Cassio. Iago gives Roderigo a rapier and then hides. Cassio enters and Roderigo tries to fight him but he fails. Cassio stabs Roderigo back. Iago secretly stabs Cassio. Othello hears the cries and goes to kill Desdemona. Lodovico and Graziano hear Cassio and tries to save him. Iago “discovers” Cassio and then stabs Roderigo. Bianco enters and sees Cassio. Cassio doesn’t know who stabbed him. Cassio and Roderigo are carried off. Emilia enters and Iago tells her what has happened. They both criticize Bianca and Iago arrests her. Iago sends Emilia to tell Othello what happened.
Act 5 Scene 2 Othello stands over Desdemona. He kisses her and she wakes up. He tells her to pray because she is going to die. Desdemona defends herself but Othello says she has slept with Cassio. She begs to live longer but he smothers her. Emilia calls from outside. Emilia enters and says that Cassio has killed Roderigo and that Cassio is still alive. Desdemona cries out and defends Othello on her dying breath and Othello tells Emilia he has killed her. Emilia calls for Montano, Graziano, and Iago. Iago is found out and Othello realizes he was wrong. Othello mentions the hankerchief and Emilia understands. She snitches on Iago, who the stabs her and she dies. Emilia sings Willow as she dies. She tells Othello that Desdemona was loyal. Cassio enters with Iago. Othello stabs Iago without killing him. Othello then kills himself.