Othello – Scene By Scene Summaries

Act 1, Scene 1 Roderigo is upset by Desdemona’s eloping with Othello. He was informed of this by Iago. Iago goes on to say that he hates the Moor (Othello) because he gave Cassio a promotion instead of him. Iago and Roderigo decide to go and wake Brabantio (Desdemona’s father) and inform him of Desdemona and Othello’s eloping.
Act 1, Scene 2 Iago informs Othello of Brabantio’s anger about the elopement, Cassio arrives with word that the general has been summoned by the Duke to a council of war because the Duke and senators have heard of a Turkish attack on Cyprus. There, Brabantio plans to accuse Othello of his eloping with Desdemona
Act 1, Scene 3 Brabantio and Othello arrive and he accuses Othello of the elopement, where Othello answers with the argument that Desdemona has married him under her own free will and loves Othello. She is then summoned and supports Othello’s argument. Brabantio concedes and says that Othello is to leave Cyprus and live elsewhere with Desdemona and Iago is to bring them there. Iago begins his cunning plans to ruin everything and begins by tricking Roderigo into bringing him valubles saying that they are gifts to Desdemona and pockets them instead. He creates the plan to fool Othello into thinking Desdemona is cheating on him with Cassio
Act 2, Scene 1 Men discuss that the Turkish fleet that was heading to attack Cyprus has been wiped out in a storm. Cassio conferms this and tells off the missing ship that Othello was on. Iago, Desdemona, and Emilia engage in witty banter while they await news of the ship. Othello arrives safely and greets Desdemona lovingly and the group moves inside except for Roderigo and Iago. Iago proposes a situation: Desdemona is in love with Cassio. This will allow Roderigo to pick a fight with Cassio and disgrace him creating less competition for Desdemona. Once alone Iago reflects on his plan: he will abuse Cassio to Othello and get credit from the general, while at the same time making him sick with jealousy.
Act 2, Scene 2 A gentleman reads Othello’s proclamation of a public holiday. All the soldiers are at liberty until eleven at night, when they must return to duty.
Act 2, Scene 3 Cassio, Iago, and Montano go out drinking and Cassio goes to his post drunk. Lago sends Roderigo after Cassio; he shortly comes back chased by Cassio, who gets into a fight with Montano. Iago sends Roderigo to sound the alarm and Othello fires Cassio. Iago convinces Cassio that he can get his job back through Desdemona
Act 3, Scene 1 Cassio has hired Musicians to play in general’s quarters in the hope of cheering him up. Iago sends Emilia to Cassio; she assures him that Desdemona would help and agrees to take him to her
Act 3, Scene 2 (reread) Othello prepares to conduct an inspection of the fortifications.
Act 3 Scene 3 Desdemona says she will help Cassio and he leaves as Othello and Iago enter. She asks Othello to rehire Cassio. Iago begins to plant seeds in Othello’s mind of a possible affair between Cassio and Desdemona. Othello begins to believe this and comes up with possible reasons she may cheat and how he can find out if she is. Desdemona drops her Handkerchief decorated with strawberries and Iago plans to plant it on Cassio. Iago tells Othello that Cassio has the handkerchief and plans with Othello to kill Cassio and Desdemona
Act 3, Scene 4 Desdemona continues to talk of Cassio and Othello demands the handkerchief but Desdemona denies that she lost it. Othello Storms off in rage. lago and Cassio appear; Desdemona asks about Othello’s anger, and lago volunteers to talk to Othello. Emilia thinks that Othello may be jealous of Desdemona, even though he has no reason, and Desdemona decides she must approach Othello again. The women leave Cassio once Bianca arrives and she chastises him for not talking to her and asks for a copy of Desdemona’s Handkerchief
Act 4, Scene 1 Iago Lies to Othello saying that Cassio admitted to sleeping with Desdemona and Othello faints. Cassio enters and Iago tells him they can speak in privacy when Othello recovers. Once Othello regains consciousness, iago tells him to eavesdrop on him and cassio. they talk of Bianca but othello thinks its Desdemona. Bianca arrives with the handkerchief and othello though he took it from Desdemona and gave it to her. Cassio and Bianca leave and Iago promises to kill Cassio. Desdemona arrives with Lodovico who has a message requesting Othello and placing Cassio in charge to which Desdemona rejoices and Othello reacts by hitting her and leaves. Lodovico demonstrates concern but Iago ensure him that it has been worse
Act 4, Scene 2 Othello questions Emilia b/c she says there is no reason to think that Desdemona is cheating on him. He doesn’t believe her and requests Desdemona, question her where she denies the accusation and he won’t believe her either. He leaves when Emilia returns and Desdemona tells her of Othello’s state and Emilia goes off to fetch Iago to talk to her. The women leave when Roderogo arruves and he complains og his wealth and gifts never being delivered to Desdemona to which Iago responses saying that Cassio is going to replace Othello and Desdemona is going to go with Othello. Iago promises to help him kill Cassio so that Othello must stay with Desdemona
Act 4, Scene 3 Othello tells Desdemona to go and relieve Emilia and she declares her love for him even though he seems to hate her. She talks to Emilia of the situation and sings her a song from a women who was in the same situation. She knows Othello will kill her and accepts that it will most likely happen
Act 5, Scene 1 Iago plans for Roderigo to ambush Cassio hoping they would end up killing each other. Roderigo gets wounded by Cassio and Iago Sneaks in from behind and attacks CassioOthello sees the wounded Cassio crying for help and leaves as Lodovico and Gratiano arrive. lago returns, pretends to be enraged at the assault on Cassio, and kills Roderigo. Bianca then arrives and Iago blames her and has her arrested.
Act 5, Scene 2 Next to Desdemona’s bed, Othello is overcome with love for her and declares that he will not harm her beauty, but will kill her. She wakes, and he tells her to prepare for death. He says the handkerchief is proof of her cheating. She says that Cassio will prove it but Othello tells of his death. She pleads for mercy, but Othello smothers her. Emilia appears, and Desdemona recovers slightly to announce that she is dying in innocence. She dies, and Othello states that he has murdered her because she was unfaithful. Emilia denies it, and Othello tells her Iago has proved it. She calls for help, and Montano, Gratiano, and Iago arrive. Othello explains what happened with Desdemona’s handkerchief, and Emilia tells the truth. Iago kills her and runs. Montano chases after Iago and Lodovico returns him. Othello wounds him and chooses to die and honorable death of suicide.