Tragedy of Othello (complete Acts)

Act 1 Scene 2 1.At the inn where Othello is lodging, Iago tells Othello that he wanted to stab Roderigo when he hears the things Roderigo was saying about Othello. He also warns Othello that Brabantio is likely to try to legally force a divorce between Othello and Desdemona. Othello seems unconcerned.2.Just then, they see a group of men approaching. Iago says it must be Brabantio and advises Othello to go inside. Othello refuses, preferring to face them, saying he has dutifully served the state of Venice and his conscience is clean: he loves Desdemona3. The men turn out to be Cassio and servants of the Duke of Venice, sent to bring Othello to meet with the Duke regarding an urgent military issue in Cyprus (an island protectorate of Venice).4.Iago then mentions to Cassio that Othello has married. But before he can say who Othello has wed, Roderigo along with Brabantio and his men arrive. Brabantio states that Othello must have enchanted Desdemona, or else why would she have gone “to the sooty bosom of such a thing as thou” (1.2.70-71). He orders his men to seize Othello.
Act 1, scene 3 1. The Duke of Venice meets with his senators about a Turkish invasion of Cyprus. They manage to see through a Turkish ploy to make it look as if the Turks will attack Rhodes instead of Cyprus. Then the Duke and the Senators discuss how to repel the Turkish attack on Cyprus2. Othello and Brabantio enter along with their men. Brabantio demands that they cease discussing state business and instead deal with the fact that his daughter has been corrupted by spells and potions so that she would marry a man she would never otherwise have considered. The Duke promises to help Brabantio prosecute the man who has seduced Desdemona, but when he learns that the accused man is Othello he gives Othello a chance to defend himself3. Othello admits that he married Desdemona. But he denies using any magic to win her love, and says that Desdemona will support his story. They send for her. As they wait for Desdemona to arrive, Othello says that Brabantio used to invite him to his house to hear his life story, with all its dramatic tales of travel, battle, and valor. These stories, Othello says, won Desdemona’s love. The Duke comments that he thinks his own daughter might be won over by Othello’s story4. Desdemona arrives. Brabantio asks his daughter to whom she owes obedience. Desdemona responds that just as her own mother once had to shift her obedience from her own father to Brabantio, so must she shift her obedience from Brabantio to Othello. At this, Brabantio grudgingly gives up his grievance against Othello, and allows the meeting to turn back to affairs of state5.As discussion turns back to fighting off the Turks, the Duke says that Othello must go to Cyprus to lead its defense. Though the Duke at first suggests that Desdemona stay in Venice with her father, Brabantio, Othello, and Desdemona all object, and the Duke says that she may go with Othello6. Because Othello must leave for Cyprus that night, he decides that Desdemona should follow after him in the care of Iago, and asks Iago to have his wife attend Desdemona. Othello and Desdemona then exit to spend their last few hours together before Othello must depart7.Iago and Roderigo are left alone. Roderigo, convinced his chances with Desdemona are now hopelessly lost, talks of drowning himself. Iago mocks Roderigo for such silly sentimentality. Roderigo responds that he can’t stop himself from feeling so miserable, but Iago disagrees, saying that a person can control himself by sheer force of will. He tells Roderigo to follow them to Cyprus, where he will make sure that Desdemona will end up with him—for a price. Roderigo exits8. Alone, Iago delivers a soliloquy in which he says again that he hates the Moor. He notes that there are rumors that Othello has slept with his wife, Emilia, and while he isn’t at all sure that the rumors are true, he’ll act as if they’re true. He says that he will take Roderigo’s money, and decides that he will convince Othello that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona, and in so doing also get the position of lieutenant. He adds that Othello has a “free and open nature” (1.3.380) and therefore thinks that anyone who seems honest actually is honest, and that he will use this trait to lead Othello by the nose
Act 2, scene 1 1. From Cyprus, Montano, the governor of Cyprus, watches as a storm rages at sea. He states that he does not think the Turkish fleet could withstand the storm, and a moment later a gentleman enters with the news that Cassio has arrived, and that on his voyage to Cyprus, Cassio saw that the Turks lost so many ships in the storm that Cyprus need not fear them. Cassio soon arrives himself, and though glad of the defeat of the Turks, he worries that Othello might himself have been lost at sea2.The Venetian ship carrying Desdemona, Iago, Emilia (Iago’s wife), and Roderigo is the next to arrive. As soon as they arrive, Desdemona asks after Othello. When she hears that Cassio and Othello’s ships lost contact during the storm she worries—but just then Othello’s ship is spotted arriving at Cyprus3. As they wait for Othello to arrive, Iago and Desdemona banter. Iago portrays all women, whether beautiful, ugly, smart, or foolish, as generally deceptive and sex-starved. But he also says that a woman with perfect virtue would be boring. Desdemona defends women against him, though she’s clearly amused by Iago4. Cassio, courteous as always, takes Desdemona’s hand and speaks with her privately for a moment. Iago notices, and says that this little courtesy of Cassio taking Desdemona’s hand will be enough of a web to “ensnare as great a fly as Cassio” (2.1.169) and strip Cassio of his position as lieutenant5. Othello arrives, in triumph. He is overjoyed to see Desdemona, and says that he is so happy and content he could die now. She responds that, rather, their love and joy will only increase as they age. Othello then thanks the people of Cyprus for their hospitality. He asks Iago to oversee the unloading of his ship, and he, Desdemona, and all but Iago and Roderigo head to the castle to celebrate their victory over the Turks6. Iago tells Roderigo that Desdemona is bound to tire of Othello, and want instead someone younger, more handsome, and better-mannered. He says that it is obvious who this man will be—Cassio, whom he describes to Roderigo as a knave and posturer who is always looking out for his own advantage.7. In fact, Iago says, Desdemona already loves Cassio, and he asks if Roderigo noticed them touching hands. Roderigo did, but says it was just courtesy. Iago convinces him otherwise, and further advises Roderigo to provoke Cassio into a fight with him that night. He says that the people of Cyprus will then demand that Cassio be replaced, and in the process remove an obstacle that separates Roderigo from Desdemona. Roderigo agrees to do it, and exits8. Alone, Iago delivers his second soliloquy. He says that he thinks it likely that Cassio does indeed love Desdemona, and believable at least that she might love him. He says that he himself loves Desdemona, though mainly he just wants to sleep with her because he wants revenge on Othello for possibly sleeping with Emilia. If he’s unable to sleep with Desdemona, though, he reasons, at least the confrontation he’s engineered between Roderigo and Cassio will cause Othello to suspect Desdemona of infidelity and drive him mad
Act 2, scene 2 A herald reads a proclamation that Othello has called for a night of revelry to celebrate the annihilation of the Turkish fleet as well as his recent marriage
Act 2, scene 3 1. Othello puts Cassio in charge during the celebration. He instructs Cassio to make sure that the men on guard practice moderation and self-restraint despite the party. Cassio says that Iago knows what to do, but that he will make sure to see to it himself. Othello and Desdemona leave to consummate their marriage2. When Othello and Desdemona are gone, Iago praises Desdemona’s beauty while also slyly suggesting that she might be a seductress. Cassio agrees that Desdemona is beautiful, but believes her to be modest3. Iago then turns the conversation to the revels, and tries to convince Cassio to take a drink. Cassio declines, saying he has no tolerance for alcohol. Eventually, Iago convinces Cassio to let in the revelers who are at the door. Cassio exits to do just that4. Alone, Iago addresses the audience: the revelers are Roderigo and three men of Cyrpus, who are all touchy about their honor and whom he has made sure to get drunk. Once he has also gotten Cassio drunk, he will create some event that results in Cassio offending the people of Cyprus5. Cassio returns with Montano and other revelers. Cassio, in good spirits, says that they have already forced him to take a drink. The revelers drink and sing. Eventually, Cassio, who is drunk but loudly protesting that he is in fact not drunk, exits offstage6. While Cassio is gone, Iago speaks with Montano, telling him that Cassio is a great soldier, but that he has a terrible drinking problem and may not be able to handle the responsibilities Othello has given him. Montano says that they should report this to Othello, but Iago says that he cares too much for Cassio to do that. Meanwhile, Iago secretly sends Roderigo off to pick a fight with Cassio7. Seconds later Cassio chases Roderigo onstage, cursing at him. They are about to fight when Montano tries to intervene, noting that Cassio is drunk. Cassio is offended, and he and Montano fight. During the fighting, Iago sends Roderigo to raise an alarm. Cassio injures Montano8. Othello enters with his attendants. He immediately puts an end to the fighting, and demands to know how the fighting began. Iago and Cassio say they do not know, while Montano says that he is too injured to speak, but he adds that Iago does know the full story9. Iago speaks, saying that it pains him to cause any harm to Cassio but that he must tell the truth as Othello commands. He explains that as he and Montano were talking, Cassio chased in some unknown fellow (Iago does not identify him as Roderigo) with sword drawn. He says that Montano then stepped in to stop Cassio, while Iago went after the unknown man but could not catch him. When Iago returned, Cassio and Montano were fighting. Iago then adds that the first unknown man must have offended Cassio in some way to make him behave as he did10. When Iago finishes his story, Othello says that he can tell that, out of love for Cassio, Iago tried to tell the story in a way that made Cassio look as good as possible. He says that he loves Cassio as well, but that he must dismiss Cassio as an officer. Desdemona arrives, awakened by the noise. Othello leads her back to bed, and also promises to tend to Montano’s wounds. Everyone exits but Iago and Cassio11. Cassio despairs at his lost reputation: “O, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial” (2.3.251-3). Iago asks if Cassio knew who he was chasing after, but Cassio says that he can’t remember anything distinctly. He adds that he plans to ask Othello to return him to his position. Iago, however, counsels him to approach Desdemona for help. Desdemona is so kind and generous, and Othello so in love with her, that she is sure to help Cassio if he asks for it and just as sure to convince Othello to return Cassio to his former position. Cassio thanks Iago for his counsel, and exits12. Iago delivers another soliloquy, in which he says that his advice to Cassio is actually good advice, and that enlisting Desdemona’s help is the best way for Cassio to regain his position. But he adds that when devils want to do evil they make it seem as if they’re trying to do good. Iago says that as Desdemona tries to help Cassio, Iago will convince Othello that she does so not out of goodness but lust for Cassio. “Out of her own goodness [I’ll] make the net that / Shall enmesh them all” (2.3.335-336)13. Roderigo enters. He is angry that he has gotten himself beaten by Cassio and given Iago almost all his money, but does not have Desdemona. Iago tells him to be patient, notes that Cassio has already been removed as an obstacle, and says that these sorts of plans take wits and time to develop14. Roderigo exits. Iago addresses the audience, outlining his plan: he will get his wife to set up a private meeting between Cassio and Desdemona, then make sure that Othello observes this meeting
Act 3, scene 1 1. Trying to regain Othello’s favor, Cassio hires musicians to play beneath his window. But Othello sends down a clown, or servant, who mocks the musicians and sends them away2. Cassio gives the clown a gold piece, and asks the clown to bring Emilia to him so that he may speak with her. The clown exits and Iago enters. Cassio explains that he sent the clown to get Emilia. Iago says that he will send Emila down himself, and will also make sure that Othello does not come near so that they will be free to talk. Cassio thanks him for his kindness and honesty. Iago exits3. Emilia enters, and tells Cassio that Othello and Desdemona have been talking about his situation. Desdemona spoke strongly in his favor. Othello responded that because Montano is so powerful and well-liked in Cyprus he can’t simply give Cassio his job back. However, Othello also told Desdemona that he loved Cassio and that he is looking for the earliest opportunity to reinstate him. Even so, Cassio begs Emilia to help him have a brief conversation with Desdemona. Emilia agrees to help him
Act 3, scene 2 Summary: Othello, Iago, and a gentleman walk together. Othello gives Iago some letters to send to the Venetian senate, and tells him to meet him on the fortifications. Iago exits. Othello goes to tour the fortificationsAnalysis: Othello yet again exhibits his trust in Iago. Such trust shows Othello’s honor, yet also highlights how this good trait makes him vulnerable he is to Iago’s machinations.
Act 3, scene 3 1. Desdemona, Cassio, and Emilia enter. Desdemona assures Cassio that she will help him regain his position. Just then, Othello and Iago enter. Cassio feels so ashamed that he feels unable to talk with Othello, and exits. Othello asks Iago whether it was Cassio who just departed. Iago responds that it seems unlikely, because why would Cassio “steal away so guilty-like / Seeing your coming” (3.3.38-39)?2. When Othello reaches Desdemona, she asks him to reinstate Cassio. Othello promises to do so soon, but won’t give a definite time, much to Desdemona’s annoyance. Othello says that he will deny her nothing, but asks for some time to himself. Desdemona exits, saying “I am obedient” (3.3.90)3. Othello and Iago are now alone. Iago starts asking vague but leading questions about Cassio, until Othello finally demands that Iago make clear his suspicions. Iago then makes a show of saying that his suspicions must be wrong because Cassio seems so honest, but in the process plants the idea of an affair between Cassio and Desdemona in Othello’s mind4. Iago again says that his suspicions are likely false. He warns Othello against the dangers of “the green-eyed monster” (3.3.165-7) of jealousy, while at the same time noting that Desdemona did successfully deceive her father. Othello claims not to be jealous; though it is obvious from his manner that this is untrue. Finally, Iago counsels Othello to trust only what he sees, not Iago’s suspicions. Othello tells Iago to have Emilia watch Desdemona, and Iago tells Othello to watch how Desdemona acts regarding Cassio5. Iago exits. Othello, alone, now voices worry that perhaps it’s unrealistic for him to expect Desdemona to love him when he is black, not well mannered, and considerably older than she is. He curses marriage and laments that it is the fate of “great ones” to be cuckolded (3.3.277)6. Desdemona and Emilia enter to tell Othello it is time for dinner. Desdemona tries to soothe him with her handkerchief, but Othello says it is too small and drops it to the floor. They exit to go to dinner. Emilia then picks up the handkerchief, noting that Desdemona treasures it since it was the first gift that Othello gave to her, and also that Iago is always asking her to steal it for some reason. She decides to make a copy of the handkerchief for him7. Iago enters. To his delight, Emilia shows him the handkerchief. He grabs it from her hand. She asks for it back unless he has some important use for it, but he refuses to give it back and sends her away. Once he’s alone, Iago plots to place the handkerchief in Cassio’s room, so that Cassio will find it8. Othello enters, frantic and furious, and says to Iago that he would have been happier to be deceived than to suspect. He shouts farewell to war and his “occupation’s gone” (3.3.357). Othello then grabs Iago by the throat, and commands him to come up with “ocular proof” (3.3.360) that Desdemona has been unfaithful or else be punished for causing Othello such emotional pain9. Iago responds that it’s probably impossible to actually catch Desdemona and Cassio in the act of infidelity, but that he can provide circumstantial evidence. He says that one recent night he and Cassio slept in the same bed, and that Cassio, while asleep, called out Desdemona’s name, kissed Iago, lay his leg over Iago’s thigh, and cursed fate for giving Desdemona to the Moor. Othello is enraged, saying “I’ll tear her all to pieces” (3.3.438)10. But Iago cautions Othello that it was just Cassio’s dream and may not signify anything about Desdemona’s faithfulness. Then Iago asks whether Othello once gave Desdemona a handkerchief with strawberries embroidered on it (this is the kerchief that Emilia earlier picked up). When Othello says yes, Iago sadly informs him that earlier that day he saw Cassio holding the handkerchief11. Othello cries out in aguish, then kneels and vows that he will take revenge on Cassio and Desdemona. Iago kneels and vows as well. Othello makes Iago his new lieutenant
Act 3, scene 4 1. In her quarters, Desdemona sends the clown to tell Cassio she has made entreaties on his behalf to Othello, and to ask him to come speak with her2. When the clown exits, Desdemona wonders what has happened to her handkerchief. Emilia, who is also present, says she doesn’t know3. Othello enters. He takes Desdemona’s hand, and notes that it is moist. When Desdemona tries to bring up Cassio’s suit, Othello says he has a headache and asks for the handkerchief he gave her. When, Desdemona admits she doesn’t have it at hand, Othello tells her that the handkerchief is magic, was given to his mother by an Egyptian sorceress, and that a woman who loses it will lose her husband4. Uncomfortable, Desdemona says she doesn’t have the handkerchief with her, but that it isn’t lost. When Othello demands that she go get it, she tries to change the subject back to Cassio’s suit. This enrages Othello, who exits. Emilia wonders if Othello is jealous, then comments on how fickle men are towards women5. Iago and Cassio enter. Cassio asks about his suit, but Desdemona tells him that he must be patient—for some reason Othello seems not himself and her advocacy of Cassio only made Othello angrier. Iago exits, promising to look into Othello’s anger6. Desdemona surmises that Othello’s bad temper must arise from some affair of state. Emilia wonders again whether it might be jealousy. When Desdemona says he can’t be jealous, since she gave him no reason to be, Emilia answers that jealousy needs no reason—it is a monster that grows by feeding on itself. Emilia and Desdemona exit to look for Othello7. As Cassio waits alone, a prostitute named Bianca enters. She says that he does not visit her enough. He apologizes and says he has been worn out with troubled thoughts. He then asks Bianca to make a copy of a handkerchief that he hands to her. Bianca thinks that the handkerchief must be a gift to him from another mistress, but he says that her jealousy is for nothing—he found the handkerchief in his room and doesn’t know whose it is. Though Bianca wants to stay with Cassio, he says that he has to see Othello and that they’ll have to meet later. Bianca grudgingly accepts
Act 4, scene 1 1. Othello and Iago enter, discussing infidelity. Iago uses the conversation to further enrage Othello, then lets slip that Cassio has actually told him that he has slept with Desdemona. Othello grows frantic, almost incoherent, then falls into an epileptic fit2. Cassio enters while Othello is unconscious from his fit. Iago informs Cassio that this is Othello’s second fit in as many days, and though Cassio wants to help advises that it would be better if Cassio stayed away. He adds that he’d like to speak with Cassio once Othello is better3. Othello’s fit ends after Cassio exits. Iago tells Othello that Cassio passed by during Othello’s fit and will soon return to speak with Iago. Iago says that he will get Cassio to talk about the details of his affair with Desdemona, and that Othello should hide and watch Cassio’s face during the conversation. Othello hides4. Alone, Iago explains to the audience that he will actually speak with Cassio about Bianca, who’s doting pursuit of Cassio never fails to make Cassio break out in laughter. This laughter will drive Othello mad.5. The plan works perfectly: as Cassio laughs and gestures, Othello grows angrier and angrier. Then Bianca herself enters, again accuses Cassio of having another mistress, throws the handkerchief at him, and exits. Othello recognizes the handkerchief. Cassio races after Bianca6. Othello comes out of hiding and promises to kill Cassio. But it is less easy for him to think about killing Desdemona. He keeps remembering what a kind, beautiful, talented, and delicate person she is. But Iago convinces him that these qualities make her unfaithfulness all the worse. Othello, at Iago’s prodding, says he will strangle Desdemona in her bed. Iago promises to kill Cassio7. Just then, Desdemona enters with Lodovico, an envoy who is carrying orders from the Duke of Venice that Othello is to return to Venice and leave Cassio behind to govern Cyprus. Desdemona mentions to Lodovico the falling out between Othello and Cassio, and how much she wants to heal it. This enrages Othello, and he strikes Desdemona and commands her to leave. Lodovico is shocked, and asks that Othello call Desdemona back. Othello complies, but then condemns her as a loose woman and sends her away again. He promises to obey the Duke’s commands, and then exits himself8. Lodovico can’t believe that Othello, renowned for his unshakable self-control, would act this way. He asks Iago if Othello has gone mad. Iago refuses to answer, but clearly implies that something seems to be terribly wrong with Othello, and advises Lodovico to observe Othello for himself
Act 4, scene 2 1. Othello questions Emilia, who insists that nothing has happened between Desdemona and Cassio. He orders her to go get Desdemona. Othello assumes that Emilia is helping Desdemona in her infidelity2. Emilia returns with Desdemona. Othello sends Emilia outside to guard the door. Othello than says he could have handled any affliction but infidelity. Desdemona denies being unfaithful and asserts both her love and loyalty to Othello. But her denials only make Othello more angry—he calls her a bad name, and, after giving Emilia money for guarding the door, storms out3. Desdemona asks Emilia to fetch Iago, whom Desdemona then questions about Othello’s behavior. Emilia thinks that it must be the doing of some “eternal villain” who is looking “to get some office” (4.2.135-136). Iago scoffs at this, and says that Othello is just upset by affairs of state. Trumpets sound, and Emilia and Desdemona exit to go to supper4. Roderigo enters, angry that he still does not have Desdemona despite all the jewels he’s given to Iago to pass on to her. He says he is ready to give up his effort and ask her to return his jewels5. Iago responds that he’s been working diligently on Roderigo’s behalf and can promise that Rodrigo will have Desdemona by the following night. He then tells Roderigo about Cassio being promoted by the Duke to take Othello’s place as defender of Cyprus. But he adds a lie: that Othello, rather than returning to Venice, is being sent to Mauritania along with Desdemona. Iago persuades Roderigo that the only way to stop Desdemona from slipping forever beyond his reach is to kill Cassio, which will keep Othello in Cyprus
Act 4, scene 3 1. After supper, Othello invites Lodovico on a walk. Before leaving, he orders Desdemona to go directly to bed and to dismiss Emilia. Emilia helps Desdemona prepare for bed. As they discuss Othello, Emilia says that she wishes Desdemona had never met him, but Desdemona responds that she loves him so much that even his bad behavior has a kind of grace to her. Yet Desdemona’s next words is to instruct Emilia to use the wedding bedsheets as a shroud for her should she die. Desdemona then sings a song called “Willow” that she learned from her mother’s maid, a woman who’s husband went mad and abandoned her2. Desdemona then asks Emilia whether she would commit adultery. Emilia responds that woman are just like men, and will cheat on their husbands if their husbands cheat on them. Desdemona responds that she does not want to learn how to emulate bad deeds, but instead how to avoid them. She dismisses Emila and goes to bed
Act 5, scene 1 1. In the street, Iago and Roderigo wait to ambush Cassio as he emerges from his visit to Bianca. Iago convinces Roderigo to make the first attack, and promises to back him up if necessary. In an aside, Iago comments that he wins either way: if Cassio kills Roderigo, he gets to keep Roderigo’s jewels; if Roderigo kills Cassio, then there’s no danger that Cassio and Othello will ever figure out his plot2. Cassio enters. Roderigo attacks, but Cassio’s armor turns away the thrust. Cassio counterattacks, wounding Roderigo. From behind, Iago darts in and stabs Cassio in the leg, then runs away. From a distance, Othello hears Cassio’s shouts of pain and believes that Iago has killed Cassio. Moved by Iago’s loyalty to him, Othello steels himself to go and kill Desdemona in her bed3. Lodovico enters with Graziano (Brabantio’s brother). They hear the cries of pain from Cassio and Roderigo, but it’s so dark they can’t see anything. Iago enters, carrying a light, and is recognized by Lodovico and Graziano. He finds Cassio, and then Roderigo. He identifies Roderigo as one of the “villains” who attacked Cassio, and stabs and kills Roderigo4. As Iago, Lodovico, and Graziano tend to Cassio’s wounds, Bianca enters and cries out when she sees Cassio’s injuries. Iago, meanwhile, makes a show of recognizing Cassio’s attacker as Roderigo of Venice, and also implicates Bianca as being in on the plot to kill Cassio by getting her to admit that Cassio had dined with her that night5. Cassio is carried offstage and Emilia enters. When Iago explains what has happened, Emilia curses Bianca. Bianca responds by saying that she is as honest as Emilia. Emilia curses her again, and then exits, sent by Iago to bring news of what has happened to Othello and Desdemona6. Iago has Bianca arrested, and in an aside to the audience says “This is the night / That either makes me or fordoes me quite
Act 5, scene 2 1. Othello enters Desdemona’s quarters, holding a candle. Standing over Desdemona as she sleeps, he admires her beauty, kisses her, and is almost moved to let her live—noting that, like a flower, once plucked, she cannot be given “vital growth” (5.2.14) again. But, finally resolving to kill her, he moves to do so.2. Just then, Desdemona wakes. She calls out to Othello, who answers, and then tells her to pray in preparation for her to death. Terrified, Desdemona begs to know why Othello is going to kill her. He tells her that he has seen Cassio with her handkerchief. When Desdemona denies giving Cassio the handkerchief, Othello tells her that Cassio has confessed to sleeping with her and, in punishment, has been killed by Iago. Desdemona begins to weep, which only infuriates Othello since he believes that she is crying for Cassio. He struggles with Desdemona as she begs to be first banished instead of killed and then allowed to live just a few minutes more. Othello is implacable, though, and smothers Desdemona with a pillow3. Emilia calls from the doorway. Othello mistakes her calls as noises made by Desdemona, and smothers Desdemona again4. Finally, Othello realizes that it is Emilia who is calling. He draws the curtains back around the bed to hide Desdemona’s body. Then he goes to speak with Emilia, expecting her to tell him of Cassio’s death. Othello is shocked to learn from Emilia that Cassio killed Roderigo but is himself still alive. Then, suddenly, Desdemona calls out that she has been murdered5. Emilia opens the curtains and to her horror sees Desdemona, who with her dying breaths says that she is innocent, but then denies that she was murdered and instead says that she committed suicide. Desdemona dies6. Though Emilia does not appear to suspect him, Othello voluntarily (and almost proudly) admits that he killed her for being unfaithful to him. Emilia denies that Desdemona was ever false to him, but Othello counters that it was “honest, honest Iago” (5.2.156) who showed him the truth7. Emilia is dumbfounded as she digests this information, but recovers herself enough to say that Iago was lying and to condemn Othello’s actions. Othello threatens Emilia to keep quiet, but Emilia is unafraid, saying “Though hast not half that power to do me harm / As I have to be hurt” (5.2.169-170). She calls out that “The Moor hath killed my mistress”8. Montano, Graziano, and Iago enter. Othello admits once more, this time to Graziano, Desdemona’s uncle, that he smothered Desdemona. Graziano is shocked, and says that it is a good thing that Brabantio died from grief at Desdemona’s marriage so that he did not live to see this9. Meanwhile, despite Iago’s demands that she obey him and be quiet, Emilia begins to piece together what happened. Othello insists again that Desdemona was unfaithful and brings up the proof of the handkerchief. Now Emilia explodes in anger, and explains that she was the one who found the handkerchief and gave it to Iago10. Realizing that Iago lied to him, Othello attacks Iago, but is disarmed by Montano. In the uproar, Iago stabs Emilia and flees. Montano chases after Iago while Graziano stays to guard the door. Othello is left with the body of Desdemona and the dying Emilia. Emilia sings a verse of the song “Willow,” and dies while telling Othello that Desdemona was faithful to him11. Othello searches his chamber and finds a sword. Graziano enters to find Othello armed and mourning Desdemona. Moments later Lodovico and Montano enter with Iago, whom they’ve captured. Cassio also enters, carried in on a chair. Othello immediately stabs Iago, who is injured but not killed. Othello is disarmed by Lodovico’s men. Othello then begs to know why Iago did what he did, but Iago refuses to speak at all. Lodovico, however, has found two letters in Roderigo’s pocket that reveal all of Iago’s schemes12. Now Lodovico turns to Othello, and tells him that he must give up his command and return with them to Venice. In response, Othello asks that when they speak of what has happened they “speak of me as I am … as one that loved not wisely but too well” (5.2.344). Then Othello tells a story about a time when he once defeated and stabbed a Muslim Turk who had killed a Venetian, and as he describes the stabbing he takes out a hidden dagger and stabs himself. He falls onto the bed next to Desdemona and dies while giving her a final kiss13. Lodovico demands that Iago look upon the destruction he has caused. He notes that Graziano is Othello’s heir, and says that Cassio is to carry out the execution of Iago. Then he departs to carry the sad news to Venice