Othello Acts

In Venice, Iago tells Roderigo he hates Othello because he is only an ensign. They wake Brabantio and tell him Desdemona has eloped Othello, upsetting him. Act 1, Scene 1
Iago tells Othello of Brabantio’s anger, but Othello is confident he loves Desdemona. Cassio brings news that Othello must meet with the duke about a Turkish invasion in Cyprus. Brabantio comes to sieze Othello but he persuades him to go to the duke. Act 1, Scene 2
The senators decide on Cyprus. The duke insists on proof that Othello has bewitched Desdemona, to which Othello describes his love for her. Desdemona enters and declares that she loves him, and the duke sends Othello to Cyprus. Iago plots to get back at Othello through his marriage. Act 1, Scene 3
The Turkish fleet is destroyed, and they arrive in Cyprus. When Othello arrives, he and Desdemona rejoice. Iago persuades Roderigo that Desdemona is in love with Cassio, and that Roderigo should help dismiss Cassio from his lieutenancy. Act 2, Scene 1
The Herald announces the defeat of the Turkish fleet and the commencing celebration. Act 2, Scene 2
Iago gets Cassio drunk, making it easy for Roderigo to provoke him into a brawl. Cassio then fights him and Montano, who he wounds, and Othello strips him of his lieutenancy. Iago decides to tell Othello that Desdemona supports Cassio, because they are lovers. Act 2, Scene 3
Cassio arrives with musicians to honor Othello and Desdemona. As Iago has recommended, Cassio asks Emilia to meet with Desdemona, even though she says that Desdemona is already urging Othello to reinstate him. Act 3, Scene 1
Othello gives Iago papers. Act 3, Scene 2
Desdemona’s interview with Cassio is cut short by Othello, so she pleads to Othello on Cassio’s behalf. Iago sweeps in and suggests that Cassio may not be honorable, and that Othello should not become jealous of Desdemona. Desdemona offers to sooth Othello’s aching head with her handkerchief, which she drops and Emilia gives it to Iago. Othello returns and threatens Iago if he doesn’t give proof of Desdemona’s infidelity. Iago says Cassio talked of making love to Desdemona and wiped his beard with the handkerchief, persuading Othello to kill her. Iago agrees to kill Cassio. Act 3, Scene 3
Desdemona worries about her lost handkerchief, which Othello asks her for but she cannot find it so he rebukes her. She postpones her efforts on Cassio’s behalf because Othello is mad at her, so Cassio waits with Bianca. He asks her to copy/take the handkerchief he found in his room. Act 3, Scene 4
Iago torments Othello with Desdemona’s alleged sexual activity until Othello blacks out. Iago places him where he can see Cassio and Bianca talking, persuading him that it was about Cassio and Desdemona. Lodovico arrives with news that Othello must return to Venice, but Othello strikes Desdemona in front of him. Act 4, Scene 1
Othello questions Emilia of Desdemona, acting as if they are both bad. He then insults Desdemona, so she runs to Iago for comfort. Roderigo argues that his gifts have made no change in Desdemona. Iago counters this, telling him that Desdemona will leave for Mauritania with Othello unless Roderigo can delay them by killing Cassio. Act 4, Scene 2
Othello orders Desdemona to dismiss Emilia and go to bed. As they prepare for bed, they discuss marriage infidelity, Emilia arguing that women have the same desires as men. Act 4, Scene 3
In Cyprus, Roderigo attacks and injures Cassio in the leg, who then stabs him. Othello thinks Iago has killed Cassio, so he goes off to kill Desdemona. Iago then kills Roderigo. While tending to Cassio, Iago accuses Bianca of being bad and engineering the plot against Cassio. Act 5, Scene 1
Desdemona is asleep when Othello enters and wakes her, charging her of infidelity. Over her protests of innocence, he smothers her. When Emilia comes to tell Othello of the violence of the streets he acknowledges the killing. Emilia’s cries of murder bring Iago, Montano, and Gratiano. Iago admits accusing Desdemona. Emilia then discloses the truth about the handkerchief. Othello tries to kill Iago, who kills Emilia. Othello stabs himself, and Iago is taken away to be tortured and killed. Act 5, Scene 2

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