Shakespeare’s Othello Synopsis

Act 1 Scene 1 Roderigo and Iago wake Brabantio from his bed to inform him that his daughter Desdemona has rebelled. (gone off with Othello to marry)
Act 1 Scene 2 There is a new threat to Venice from Cyprus – but Brabantio demands Othello is arrested for stealing away his daughter.
Act 1 Scene 3 Brabantio accuses Othello infront of the duke, but Othello defends himself. The duke allows the marriage and commissions Othello with the leadership of the Venetian force against Cyprus. Desdemona asks permission if she can accompany her husband.
Act 2 Scene 1 Storm at sea; the Turkish fleet is scattered, but Cassio arrives safely in Cyprus, followed by Iago and Desdemona. Othello is reunited with his wife, but Iago seems determined to wreck their happiness.
Act 2 Scene 2 Othello proclaims a public holiday until evening
Act 2 Scene 3 Iago encourages Cassio to drink until, provoked by Roderigo, he becomes quarrelsome. Othello dismisses him from his office, but Iago advises Cassio to seek Desdemona’s assistance. Roderigo threatens to return to Venice.
Act 3 Scene 1 Cassio asks Emilia to help him get access to Desdemona.
Act 3 Scene 2 Othello sends letters to Venice.
Act 3 Scene 3 Iago sows suspicions in Othello’s mind until the Moor is convinced that Desdemona is unfaithful to him. Emilia gives Othello’s handkercheif to her husband.
Act 3 Scene 4 Desdemona persists in urging Cassio’s case to her husban, but Othello is obsessed with his handkercheif. Iago and Cassio pass along the street, and Cassio is met by his mistress, Bianca, to whom he gives Othello’s handkerchief.
Act 4 Scene 1 Iago continues to provoke Othello’s jealousy. Lodovico is horrified when he sees Othello strike Desdemona.
Act 4 Scene 2 Othello questions Emilia, but refuses to believe what he is told and confronts Desdemona with his suspicions. Desdemona turns to Iago for reassuranc, and Roderigo returns to reproach Iago for unfair dealing; Iago promises them both that all will be well.
Act 4 Scene 3 Desdemona prepares for bed, singing an old song from her youth (The ‘Willow’ song)
Act 5 Scene 1 Roderigo and Iago lie in wait for Cassio; there is a struggle in which both Roderigo and Cassio are injured. Iago kills Roderigo
Act 5 Scene 2 Othello is strongly affected at the sight of the sleeping Desdemona, but kills her. Emilia discovers the murder and proclaims Desdemona’s innocence. Iago kills Emilia, and Othello apologizes to the wounded Cassio and is arrested by Lodovico. Othello stabs himself and Iago is arrested.