Othello Act 1 Notes

Act 1 Scene 1 (Iago and Roderigo are discussing why they hate Othello) *Iago hates Othello because Othello made Cassio 2nd in command instead of him. He feels Cassio is less experienced. *Roderigo hates Othello because he love’s Othello’s wife Desdemona*Iago stays close to Othello only because he wants to take Othello down.* Iago tells Roderigo “I am not what I am” meaning he is a total fake!
Act 1 Scene 1 (Iago’s plan to tell Brabantio about the marriage) *Iago’s plan is for he and Roderigo to wake up Brabantio (Desdemon’s father) and to reveal to him that his daughter is sleeping with and married to a black man.* Iago gets Roderigo to do his dirty work by hiding while Roderigo is in plain sight.*Iago does the talking and tells Brabantio he will have black”animals” for grandchildren.*Roderigo confirms to Brabantio that his daughter did marry Othello.*Iago then tells Roderigo to go warn Othello that Brabantio is coming after him. Iago can’t warn Othello because he works for Othello.
Act 1 Scene 2 *Iago’s first lie: He tells Othello he was just with Roderigo and wanted to kill Roderigo in Othello’s defense. He tells Othello he was trying to defend him against Roderigo. He then warns Othello that Brabantio is coming with his men because he’s angry about the marriage.*Othello is very confident and self assured-he doesn’t care that Brabantio is coming.*Iago then manipulates Cassio by telling him Othello is married. Cassio has no idea about the marriage. Iago wants Cassio to question why he himself doesn’t know about the marriage when he’s 2nd in Command. Iago just wants to rub it in that he knows.*Cassio tells Othello that he is being called by the Duke because Cyprus is being threatened by Turkey. (Italy owns the Greek island Cyprus) The Duke wants Othello to go defend Cyprus immediately.*Brabantio believes that Othello put a spell on his daughter because she would never have married a black man otherwise. He wants Othello to be arrested.*Othello says he’s innocent and that Desdemona fell in love with him on her own. He wants to answer the charges in front of the Duke. (mostly because he knows the Duke needs him as a General and will not arrest him)
Act 1 Scene 3 (Othello defends his marriage) *Venice gets a message that the Turks are going to invade Rhodes not Cyprus; Venice thinks it’s a trick and still plans on sending Othello to Cyprus.*Othello defends his marriage in court to the Duke. He first apologizes for his speech*Othello says he won Desdemona’s love because she listened to all his war stories when Brabantio would invite Othello to his home. She felt sorry for him for what he went through as a warrior.*Desdemona appears in court and admits she does in fact love her husband and claims her loyalty is to Othello not her father.*The Duke defends the marriage so Brabantio says daughter is dead to him.*Duke is racist just like the rest of them. He says, “your son in laaw is far more fair than black” (I.iii. 291)
Act 1 Scene 3 (Othello gets sent to Cyprus) *Duke tells Othello he must go and defend Cyprus*Othello agrees but asks for wife to be protected and have a place to stay*Desdemona requests she goes to Cypress with her husband. The Duke agrees she can go.*Iago is requested to take Desdemona to Cyprus on a different ship. (Bad idea because he is trying to bring Othello down!)*Othello trusts Iago. He calls him “honest Iago”
Act 1 Scene 3 (Iago reveals plan to Roderigo) *Roderigo confesses to Roderigo he can’t help loving Desdemona so he wants to end his life.*Iago tells him he must control his emotions. He gives him advice:-Make money and bring it to Cypress (because Iago wants to take his $) “put money in thy purse”-sell his land-tells him to grow a beard to look more manly-stop crying and be more confident-says Desdemona will not be attracted to Othello wants she seems him naked.*Iago confirms his hate of Othello and wants Roderigo to be on his team of seaking revenge.*Iago thinks Othello has slept with his wife.*Iago’s plan is to make it look like Cassio is sleeping with Desdemona; he wants Othello to be rid of Cassio so that Iago can become 2nd in Command; Iago will play on Othello’s race by making Othello believe Desdemona won’t love him forever. He will use Roderigo to do his dirty work.

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