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Othello Synopsis.

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Introduction

Othello Synopsis Act I 1. o Iago complains to Roderigo that Othello has appointed Cassio rather than Iago as his lieutenant. o Iago claims a right to revenge but will act the loyal follower for now. o Roderigo and Iago wake Brabantio to tell him his daughter Desdemona has eloped with Othello. o When Brabantio begins to investigate, Iago leaves to prevent being exposed in his hostility to Othello. o Brabantio and Roderigo set out to find Othello. 2. o Iago expresses great anger at Brabantio for speaking ill of Othello. o Cassio arrives from the Duke with a summons related to the war in Cyprus. o Brabantio and Roderigo arrive. o Brabantio arrests Othello for witchcraft while Othello prevents bloodshed. 3. o The Duke and council discuss the movements of a Turkish fleet sailing towards Cyprus. o Brabantio arrives and states his charge. o Othello claims he is no diplomat, and asks that Desdemona's testimony be his defence. o The Duke summons her. o Othello begins to speak of his friendship to Brabantio and their conversations about his life experiences, including war, slavery, escape and adventure. o He states that Desdemona also loved these stories and grew to love him because of them. o Desdemona arrives and expresses her wifely duty to Othello. o Brabantio very grudgingly accepts the marriage. o The group tries to turn its attention to the war, but Othello demands appropriate lodging and income for his wife. o Desdemona asks to follow him to war. o All agree, and Othello commits Desdemona to Iago's care. ...read more.

Middle

o Othello returns, deeply troubled and certain of the infidelity but regretting his "knowledge" of it. o He announces that he cannot remain a soldier, and then demands that Iago give him visible proof or face torture and death. o Iago laments the pains he suffers for his honesty. o Othello reveals that he believes and doubts both Desdemona and Iago. o Iago wonders whether Othello actually wants to witness her in the act of being unfaithful [the kind of certain proof he seems to be demanding]. o He suggestions that circumstantial evidence may be enough, then lead the conversation toward the handkerchief, which he claims he has seen Cassio using. o Othello accepts this as proof and leaps into a dark rage, repudiating his love and swearing vengeance. o Iago pleads for patience, but Othello refuses and swears vengeance, as Iago swears to serve "wronged Othello." o Othello orders Cassio's execution within three days. o Iago pleads for Desdemona's life but Othello insists he will find a means to kill her. o He promotes Iago to lieutenant. 4. o Desdemona, looking for Cassio, encounters the Clown. o She sends the Clown to discover where Cassio lives, then asks Emilia where she could have lost the handkerchief. o She is concerned that, if Othello were in any way a jealous man (something she considers impossible) he would be suspicious of the loss. o Othello arrives and, after a series of comments that suggest she is either generous or loose, he asks to use the handkerchief he gave her. ...read more.

Conclusion

o Desdemona stirs, attracting Emilia's attention, but she dies without accusing Othello. o Othello confesses to Emilia and identifies Iago as the course of his information. o Emilia, stunned, curses Iago, defends Desdemona, and calls Othello "her most filthy bargain". o As he threatens her with death, she cries murder. o When Montano, Gratiano [Desdemona's uncle] and Iago respond to her cry, Emilia confronts Iago and asks the gentlemen's leave to speak. o Gratiano reveals that Brabantio died of grief over the marriage. o Othello recites the evidence and Emilia realizes what has happened; before she can speak, Iago draws on her, and when she reveals that she gave the handkerchief to Iago, Othello attacks him. o In the confusion, Montano disarms Othello; Iago stabs Emilia fatally and then escapes. o Montano orders he be killed on sight. o Othello finds a second sword and invites Gratiano to kill him. o Lodovico arrives with Cassio's litter, and Montano arrives with Iago as his prisoner. o Othello lashes out and wounds Iago but is disarmed again. o As the gentlemen try to investigate, Iago refuses to speak further and is threatened with torture; Lodovico, however, reveals letters relating to Cassio's death found on Roderigo's body. o Cassio relates that Iago had confessed to planting the handkerchief and that Roderigo's letters include evidence about his own dismissal for fighting. o Lodovico orders Othello to be imprisoned for trial in Venice and appoints Cassio commander in Cyprus. o Othello pleads for a fair hearing, but then stabs himself and dies kissing Desdemona. o Lodovico, leaving for Venice, turns Iago over to Cassio for torture and execution. . ...read more.

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