Summary Act 1 Scene 1 The scene opens in the middle of an arguement between Rodrigo and Iago as Rodrigo believes Iago has taken his money that he was supposed to spend on gifts for desdemona for himself. We find that Iago dislikes Othello for appointimg Cassio as a lieutenant over him. Rodrigo and Iago then wake Brabantionin the night to tell him that his daughter has run away with ‘the moor’, Brabantio is angered by this and as a result he orders a search party to find Desdemona and he, Rodrigo and Idaho go to find and confront the moor
Summary of Act 1 Scene 2 This is the first time we see Othello and we see Iago being the character of the ‘villain’. Iago tells Othello that there may be a legal attempt to break the marriage, but Othello knows his military worth to Venice and meets the Duke and Senators with confidence. Cassio has been sent to fetch him to an urgent meeting about the situation in Cyprus. Iago tells Cassio of Othello’s marriage. Brabantio’s party arrives; Brabantio threatens Othello with violence and accuses him of using sorcery to seduce Desdemona, Othello responds very calmly and respectfully to this, his reasoning being that she would never marry Othello voluntarily. Brabantio calls for Othello’s arrest and imprisonment but cedes precedence to the Duke’s summons to the emergency meeting
Summary Act 1 Scene 3 Many reports have come from Cyprus warning of the approaching Turkish army, the Duke appoints Othello to lead the Venetian army to defend Cyprus. The Duke then calls on Othello to defend himself against Brabantio’s claims, Iago leads a group to find Desdemona and she tells Brabantio of her loyalty to Othello. Othello must go immediately to Cyprus to command its defense, and Desdemona requests to go as well. As they leave Brabantio tells Othello to beware of Desdemona as she may deceive him but Othello remains certain that Desdemona is faithful, Iago persuades Rodrigo to help him with his plan saying that soon he can have Desdemona as she will become bored with Othello, finally Iago is left alone and discusses rumours that Othello has had sex with his wife.
Act 2 Scene 1 Summary Montano waits for the arrival of the Venetian army which has slowed due to a violent storm, news then arrives that the Turkish fleet has been destroyed by the storm and is no longer a threat. Desdemona arrives and asks of news of Othello, Othello finally arrives and him and Desdemona go away into a fortress, Iago then tells Rodrigo that Desdemona is in love with Cassio and he tries to persuade Rodrigo to have a fight with Cassio.
Act 2 Scene 2 Summary Othello decides to declare a night of general festivities to celebrate both the destruction of the Turkish fleet and his recent marriage.
Act 2 Scene 3 Summary Cassio, commanding the night watch during the time of feasting and drinking, takes his orders from Othello, who directs the soldiers to drink with moderation and keep the peace. Othello and Desdemona go to their room for the night and Iago begins to encourage Cassio to drink whilst making suggestive comments about Desdemona, Iago further encourages Rodrigo to fight Cassio which he eventually does and Iago then sends Rodrigo to ring the alarm bell in order to alert Othello. Othello demands to know who started the fight and Iago tells Othello that it was Cassio, Othello then relieves Cassio of his position and Iago persuades Cassio to speak to Desdemona about the matter, he convinces Emilia to set up a meeting between Cassio and Desdemona
Act 3 Scene 1 summary Cassio meets with a clown and group of musicians at a the beginning of the scene who he has paid to perform for Othello and Desdemona, however this doesn’t end up happening. Iago sends Emilia out to speak with him, and she reports that Desdemona and Othello are discussing the events of last night. Desdemona has spoken up for Cassio, and Othello, who likes him, has undertaken to bring him back into favor when the right moment comes.
Act 3 Scene 2 summary Othello sends a letter to Venice
Act 3 Scene 3 Summary Cassio asks Desdemona to speak to Othello on his behalf,Desdemona agrees to do this until Cassio is reinstated by Othello. Iago and Othello turn up as Cassio leaves and Iago suggests they are guilty, Desdemona speaks to Othello about Cassio but he is distracted by his private thoughts, Iago and Othello have a conversation in which Othello says that he would never give himself over to jealousy, showing this weakness to Iago. Othello worries that Brabantio was right and he is not the right match for Desdemona, he is shown to be worried and vulnerable , he tries to tell himself that these thoughts aren’t true and Desdemona enters. She calls him to dinner and he complains of a pain in his head, Desdemona tries to wipe his face with a handkerchief but he brushes her away and appears distant from her. Emilia picks up Desdemona handkerchief which has fallen and which Iago has urged her to steal, the handkerchief is then shown to Iago and he takes it from Emilia. Othello then enters and Iago sees he is troubled by negative thoughts of Desdemona which he has planted, Othello demands ocular proof that Desdemona has been unfaithful and Iago tells him a story of how he overheard Cassio having a dream about Desdemona , he then also says that he has seen Cassio with Desdemona handkerchief. Othello is certain Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio and his thoughts of them both turn violent.
Act 3 Scene 4 summary Desdemona sends for Cassio to tell him that she has spoken with Othello; she is also worried that she has lost her handkerchief. When Othello enters, he claims a headache and asks her for a handkerchief to bind his head, but he will have only the embroidered strawberry handkerchief. In vain, Desdemona tries to deflect his questions about the handkerchief, speaking again of Cassio. Othello walks out in fury. Cassio gives Bianca Desdemona’s handkerchief, which he found in his lodgings (Iago had placed it there) and asks her to make a copy of it for him, as he will have to return the original when he finds the owner. Bianca immediately recognizes it as belonging to a woman and shouts at Cassio for having another mistress.
Act 4 Scene 1 summary Iago tells Othello that Cassio has admitted to having an affair with a Desdemona, Othello becomes vey affected by this and becomes disoriented, Cassio then enters and Iago claims that Othello has had many seizures like this before and rather then helping him they must let his fit take its course, Iago then sends Cassio away. Othello then becomes conscious and he speaks of how Desdemona has committed adultery, but Iago tells him that he should hide and observe Cassio actions as Iago says that he will get Cassio to speak about and reveal his affair with Desdemona. Iago talks with Cassio about Bianca, and Othello listens thinking he is talking about his relationship with Desdemona , Bianca en enters holding the handkerchief which she throws at Cassio, Othello thinks this is ocular proof for the affair and he is now convinced, he knows he must kill both Cassio and Desdemona.
Act 4 Scene 2 summary Othello questions Emilia about Desdemona and she assures him that Desdemona has been nothing but honest, Othello doesn’t believe this and instead believes that Desdemona must have manipulated Emilia also. Othello then to Desdemona threatening her and calling her a “*****” and “strumpet” , she denies these claims. Emilia enters and Othello leaves, Emilia talks with Desdemona and suspects that someone must have poisoned Othello’s mind, Desdemona then questions Iago if he knows why Othello seems agitated, he assures her that it is just a matter of the state and it has nothing to do with her. Rodrigo tells Iago that he is going back to Venus as he has no money left, Iago manages to persuade him to stay telling him that if he murders Cassio he can have Desdemona.
Act 4 Scene 3 summary After dinner Othello dismisses Desdemona and tells her to go to bed, Emilia goes with her and they discuss their contrasting views on men , Emilia criticises Othello actions but Desdemona says that she does not regret her marriage to him and remains completely faithful. Desdemona then sings the “willow song” remembering her mothers maid Barbary.
Act 5 Scene 1 summary At night Rodrigo and Iago discuss Iago plans, Iago directs Rodrigo to attack Cassio. Cassio then approaches and is attacked by Rodrigo (unsuccessfully) and Iago stabs Cassio from behind in the leg before running away. Cassio screams murder which Othello hears and believes Iago has done what he said he would for him – killed Cassio, Othello then realised he must kill Desdemona as Iago has done “his bit”.
Act 5 Scene 2 summary
” black ram is tupping your white ewe” -Iago Act 1 Scene 2 , racist term, graphic sexual imagery-immature,doesn’t understand love- seen through Emilia attitude towards men. Contrast to the Othello we will see in Act 1 Scene 2 shows Iago as a tragic villain.
” I am rude in speech” Self depreciating, humble, Tragic hero, emphasises his poetic language contrasting to statement, tragic as this statement becomes true in Act 3
O, beware, my lord, of jealousy!It is the green-eyed monster which doth mockThe meat it feeds on – Iago, Scene 3 act 3 , theme of jealousy, manipulation , Othello’s harmartia
Yet I’ll not shed her blood,Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow,And smooth as monumental alabaster. -Othello act 5 Scene 2, references her beauty, still in love with her? , white= innocence , tragic victim= Desdemona, Othello doesn’t want to be violent = heroic qualities
She’s like a liar gone to burning hell! ‘Twas I that killed her. Othello act 5 Scene 2 , religion, manipulation themes shown, Othello shows no remorse – manipulation , contrast to their love in act 1 and 2, tragic
Put money in thy purse. (Iago, Act 1 Scene 3, to Rodrigo)
Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my reputation! Cassio, Act 2 Scene 3
Awake! What ho, Brabantio! Thieves, thieves! Iago to a a Brabantio, context as it suggests Desdemona is Brabantio property – sexist, also reinforces dangerous and stereotypical image of Othello
Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see.She has deceived her father, and may thee. Scene 3 act 1 , a Brabantio, stereotypical of young women, he suggests that since Desdemona has “deceived her father” by running off to elope with Othello, she’ll probably “deceive” her new husband too. The idea is that an unruly daughter will make an unruly and promiscuous wife. Comparison to:”She did deceive her father, marrying you” -Iago
But I do think it is their husbands’ faultsIf wives do fall. Emilia, act 4 Scene 3, contrasting view to Iago and a Brabantio believes women being unfaithful is due to their husbands, suggests and affair between her and Iago, enhances Iago’s bad nature as a husband that has led Emilia to believe this – tragic villain, a response to Desdemona asking if women cheat on their husbands- niece, tragic victim
I will chop her into messes! Act 4 a scene 1, Othello, violence, tragic hero downfall , contrast to ” Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my speech,And little blessed with the soft phrase of peace,” in Act 1 Scene 3 where Othello is more soft spoken and gentle with poetic language.
I have a pain upon my forehead, here -Othello, act 3 scene3 , Iago planted the seed of jealousy, pain = manipulation he feels heart broken, could also be confusion
Nobody. I myself. Farewell -Desdemona, act 5 Scene 2 , When Emilia asks Desdemona who has harmed her, Desdemona blames herself instead of holding Othello accountable. As we know, this isn’t the first time Desdemona has been abused by her husband, who accuses her of cheating on him, slaps her in public, and calls her a “*****” – actions that culminate in Othello murdering Desdemona. We can’t help but notice that Desdemona exhibits a classic symptom of “battered woman syndrome” – instead of telling Emilia the truth about Othello strangling her, she blames herself (and not her attacker) for the abuse she endures. She also remains completely faithful towards Othello, tragic victim.
Demand me nothing. What you know, you know.From this time forth I never will speak word. Iago, act 5 Scene 2 , Iago’s last words in the play and he remains quiet about his motives for destroying Othello’s life, true to the characteristic of a tragic villain
Valiant Othello we must employ you – duke , act 1 Scene 3
The moor is of a free and open nature Iago, act 1 Scene 3
O my souls joy if after every tempest come such calms -Othello, act 2 Scene 1 irony , conflict will ensure
Hell prove Desdemona a most dear husband -Iago, act 2 Scene 1, tragic villain, acknowledges Othellos void qualities
“Exquisite lady” “full of game” -Cassio then Iago , act 2 Scene 3 contrasting language towards desdemona
“Flustered with flowing cups” Iago act 2 Scene 3 , Cassio harmatia = alcohol
”Tis monstrous Iago Othello, act 2 Scene 3 , he is angry that the army will scare and disrupt local people, noble, caring looks outwards not inwards- downfall
Sneak away so guilty like Iago, act 3 Scene 3
My lord shall never rest Desdemona, act 3 Scene 3 , persistent with Cassio plea to Othello, tragic, emotive language
Fear not my government Othello, act 3 Scene 3, shows control
Poor lady -Emilia, act 3 Scene 3 she says this to Iago after she gives him Desdemona handkerchief, sympathetic even though she stole it, regret
I’ll tear her to pieces Othello, act 3 Scene 3 , animalistic, graphic contrast to act 1 and 2
They are all but stomachs and we are all but food Act 3 Scene 4 , Emilia, mirrors Iago behaviour towards the opposite sex, reflects her relationship with Iago, bias, context sexism at the time
Worthy general Lodovico, act 4 Scene 1 , reminds us how far Othello has fallen
Heaven pardon him Desdemona act 4 Scene 2, contrast to Emilia attitude, she says this to the person who’s manipulated othello
This is the fruit of whoring Iago, act 5 Scene 1 , misogyny
An honourable murder Act 5 Scene 2 , Othello asks to be remembered as a good person
He was great if heart Cassio, about Othello act 5 Scene 2
”Tis better as it is” Othello, Act 1 Scene 2, calm, tragic hero, moral, emphasises his good character that will become manipulated
By Janus, I think no Iago, two faced God, foreshadows, symbolism, act 1 Scene 2, tragic – other characters are unaware of the obvious threat
You have been hotly called for Cassio to Othello act 1 Scene 2, in demand, high status, built up for a fall, tragic hero
Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them. Othello act 1 Scene 2, passive, peaceful, we know he could fight well but he would prefer to have no violent conclusion
Far more fair then black Duke to Othello in Act 1 Scene 3, despite his race he is novel, presents Othello as an outsider, context of racism, tragic he will live up to his stereotype
Riches of the ship How Iago refers to desdemona, objectification, sexism
Divine desdemona Cassio refers to Desdemona act 2 Scene 1, Goddess like, contrast to Iagos graphic language and objectification, weakness / interest exposed for Iago to exploit
She have to look on the devil Act 2 Scene 1, manipulation , racism, how Othello will be shown to be
Dear husband Act 2 Scene 2, how Iago describes othello
I’ll tell you what you shall do Act 2 Scene 3 , Iago to cassio
I nothing but to please his fantasy Act 3 Scene 3, Emilia, sexual imagery, loyal wife, lack of love in their relationship
Mines of sulphur Iago, Act 3 Scene 3, hell
Startingly and rash How Desdemona describes Othello speech , act 3 Scene 4
Hath puddled his clear spirit Desdemona Act 3 Scene 4, she knows someone has influenced Othello
I know what shall be Iago Act 4 Scene 1, Iago has power, all knowing
fire and brimstone a phrase symbolizing the torments of hell endured by sinners, Act 4 Scene 1 othello
Preserve this vessel for my lord Desdemona, Act 4 Scene 2, innocent, faithful
You charge me unjustly Iago, Act 4 Scene 2, manipulation – seen to be innocent