Act 1 Scene 2

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. Roderigo is known to have been a suitor of Desdemona and is close with her father Brabantio. Iago states that Brabantio is likely to try to legally force a divorce between Othello and Desdemona. 

Othello doesn’t see this as a threat so remains clam. Cassio and the servants of the Duke of Venice approach followed by Roderigo and Brabantio. They’re there to bring Othello to meet with the Duke regarding an urgent military issue in Cyprus

Iago mentions to Cassio that Othello has married, however before he can say who Othello has wed, Roderigo along with Brabantio and his men arrive. Brabantio says that Othello must have enchanted Desdemona as that’s the only way she would’ve married him. Brabantio then orders his men to attack Othello due to the anger that he has married his daughter.

Othello remains calm and tells everyone on both sides to all calm down, he informs Brabantio that he has been called to meet with the Duke on state business. Brabantio decides to accompany Othello to the Duke to then complain to the Duke. Othello doesn’t fear this as he believes his status in the war will halt any complaints of Brabantio.

Plot Summary

Iago is angry that Othello (the general of the army), has promoted Cassio to be his lieutenant instead of him. Othello secretly marries Desdemona, the daughter of a senator in Venice (Brabantio). Iago therefore tells Desdemona’s father about the secret marriage to cause trouble for Othello.

Desdemona’s father makes a formal complaint about Othello’s behaviour to the Duke of Venice. His complaint is ignored and the Duke sends Othello to Cyprus to continue fighting in a war. Othello goes to Cyprus and takes his new wife Desdemona with him, together with Iago and Michael Cassio.

Iago encourages Cassio to get drunk whilst on duty. Cassio ends up in a drunken fight and is demoted from his position as lieutenant. Iago begins to plant seeds of suspicion in Othello’s mind about his wife’s relationship with Michael Cassio. Iago gets hold of a handkerchief belonging to Desdemona and hides it in Cassio’s room pretending it is proof of Desdemona’s unfaithfulness.

Desdemona pleads with Othello to give Cassio his job back. She does this innocently, but Othello takes this as proof of her feelings for Cassio. Iago continues to manipulate Othello to the point where Othello murders his new wife as punishment for her supposed unfaithfulness. Iago’s wife, Emilia, tells Othello that Iago has lied. Othello realises his tragic mistake and commits suicide over the body of his wife as Iago is arrested.

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