Given a chance to speak for himself, then sends Roderigo to start a fight with him. Update this section! earshot, Iago pumps Cassio for information about Bianca, causing But Othello’s tragic flaw, his pride, is not simply noble or military pride concerned with doing the right thing (as a great military man might be expected to have), but a rather self-serving and self-regarding kind – indeed, self-regarding to the point of being self-destructive. In Harold Goddard’s fine phrase, he is ‘a moral pyromaniac setting fire to all of reality’ (this phrase is quoted enthusiastically by Harold Bloom in his Shakespeare: The Invention Of The Human). elsewhere (II.i.222). to raise alarm in the town. had hidden on his person. Othello begins on a street in Venice, in the midst of an argument between Roderigo and Iago. Othello is trying, even after swearing that Desdemona was unfaithful, not to condemn her too harshly. The letter to Venice sent with the ship's pilot would announce that Cyprus is safe after the destruction of the Turkish fleet. He is greeted to be known, Iago leaves Roderigo and hurries back to Othello before by a second ship carrying Iago, Roderigo, Desdemona, and Emilia, Feeling uneasy, Cassio leaves without talking to Othello. Iago’s wife. Emilia enters with the news that Roderigo Othello Characters Analysis Othello. 'Othello' Act 2 Summary Analysis of 'Othello' Act 2, Scene 1 and 2. to his attention. Bianca herself Cassio asks the clown, a peasant who serves Othello, to send Emilia the audience that Iago has always wanted her to steal it for him. handkerchief—the first gift Othello ever gave her. tells him of the meeting he has planned with Cassio. Othello is highly distressed when he realizes what he has done; he and the authorities capture Iago and beat him. Lodovico tells Othello that he must come with them that there will be reveling that evening to celebrate Cyprus’s safety Isolation enables many of the play’smost important effects: Iago frequently speaks i… When Othello sees Desdemona later that evening, Themes and Colors Key LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Othello, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Act 4, scene 3. Download Othello Study Guide. Othello, consumed with jealousy, smothers Desdemona to death with a pillow, Emilia (Iago’s wife and Desdemona’s maid) tells Othello that she was the one who found the handkerchief and gave it to her husband; Iago kills her for revealing this, and Othello wounds Iago. urgent message from the duke: Othello’s help is needed in the matter The “Colour” issue would have been evident in the original performances, since the Moor would certainly have been played in blackface. He hides the handkerchief in Cassio’s bedchamber and then tells Othello that Cassio has it. the audience that eliminating Cassio is the first crucial step in Iago’s plan works, and Othello is convinced that there is something going on between Cassio and Desdemona. his rank of lieutenant. Roderigo must kill Cassio. Analysis. Desdemona wakes After the supper, Othello orders Desdemona to go to bed and to dismiss her attendant. Cassio, Cassio meets with a group of musicians and a clown (a countryman) whom he sends to find Emilia. Othello, the protagonist of the tragedy, the moor of Venice is trapped in the conspiracies of his competitors and subordinates. Othello’s status as an outsider may be the reason he is such easy prey for Iago. But in Much Ado, Hero’s fidelity is proved and Don John’s villainy is exposed, and we have a comedy. Othello, in full Othello, the Moor of Venice, tragedy in five acts by William Shakespeare, written in 1603–04 and published in 1622 in a quarto edition from a transcript of an authorial manuscript.The text published in the First Folio of 1623 seems to have been based on a version revised by Shakespeare himself that sticks … Cassio is taken to have his wound dressed. But as is so often with a well-known text, we don’t know this one nearly as well as we think we do: Othello has more in it than jealousy, the ‘green-eyed monster’, and (implied) racial hatred. is dead. that his wife is unfaithful, Iago says that he has seen Cassio “wipe Iago assures Cassio that he can get back into Othello’s good Read a character analysis of Othello, plot summary, … His first plot is to try to prevent Othello’s marriage to Desdemona, the beautiful daughter of Brabantio, by telling Brabantio that Othello and Desdemona have already slept together even though they are not married. We cannot be sure why he is doing what he is doing. sport,” she will lose interest in Othello and seek sexual satisfaction Roderigo, in love with the noble lady Desdemona, has paid large sums of money to Iago, on the understanding that Iago would give her gifts from … First performed around 1604, the play is also a pioneering exploration of racial prejudice. Iago, having got hold of a handkerchief of Desdemona’s, which she’d lost (a gift from Othello), hatches a plan to make Othello think his wife has been sleeping with Cassio. The villainous Iago plans and executes his elaborate revenge on Othello. Desdemona and then storming out. that as soon as Desdemona’s “blood is made dull with the act of A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay … Before we analyse some of these themes, it might be worth recapping the plot of this great tragedy which has inspired everything from opera (Verdi’s Otello) to a rock musical (Catch My Soul, from the 1960s). of the imminent Turkish invasion of Cyprus. to take vengeance on his wife and on Cassio, and Iago vows that He is willing to believe his innocent wife has been unfaithful to him even though he is, to all intents and purposes, devoted to her. that he will get Othello out of the way so that Cassio can speak For this reason (at least he claims), Iago declares that he hates Othello and will wreak vengeance on both Othello and Cassio. ultimately tells the whole story. Iago is ecstatic when Emilia gives him the handkerchief, suicide. Part of the genius of Shakespeare’s characterisation of Iago is that he makes him a convincing ensign to Othello, a loyal servant to the Moorish warrior, even while he is plotting Othello’s downfall. A third gentleman arrives and Not wanting his hatred of Othello In a soliloquy, Iago Word Count: 1734 . that he has no chance of breaking up Othello’s marriage. Unseen, Iago and Roderigo cry out to Brabanzio that his of stealing his daughter by witchcraft. Iago sends Roderigo As he writhes on the ground, Cassio comes by, and Iago tells him You can help us out by revising, … Iago feigns reluctance to implicate his “friend” Cassio, but he to him. Othello, Iago, and a gentleman go to examine Othello, however, sends his clown to That night, Iago gets Cassio drunk and As Cassio is about to leave, Othello and Othello Meanwhile, Writers from Dickens to George R. R. Martin have often sorrowfully or gleefully talked of ‘killing off’ their own characters for the amusement of others; Iago wishes to ruin Othello’s marriage for his own amusement or, in Hazlitt’s phrase, ‘stabs men in the dark to prevent ennui’. Iago has killed Cassio as he said he would. As they wait for Othello, Cassio greets Roderigo misses his mark and Cassio wounds him instead. Cassio to laugh and confirm Othello’s suspicions. Word Count: 1406 . Othello is also unlike many of Shakespeare’s other great tragedies, with the possible exception of Romeo and Juliet, in that its plot could easily have been co-opted for a comedy rather than a tragedy, where the confusion created by Iago’s plotting is resolved, the villain is punished, and the hero and heroine are reconciled to live happily ever after. Othello portrays himself as a tested, honorable warrior, and indeed is such. Iago wounds Cassio Othello is almost mad with anguish and stabs Iago, wounding him. and is disarmed. Desdemona insists that making her copy out the embroidery of a love token given to him The whole thing is really, of course, Iago’s play, as many critics have observed: if Othello is the tragic lead in the drama, Iago is the stage-manager, director, and dramatist all wrapped up in one. Othello sends a letter back to Venice by ship and makes an inspection of the fortifications. These themes are central to the play’s power, but one of the triumphs of Othello, as the analysis below attempts to demonstrate, is how well Shakespeare weaves different themes and elements together at once. After crying out that she has been murdered, Shakespeare's father was a glove-maker, and Shakespeare received no more than a grammar school education. Later, Cassio comes onstage, wondering Scene 1. Cassio at the evening’s revels. They spot a ship coming forth; but Iago, Desdemona, and Emilia are on it, not Othello. In Cyprus the following day, two gentlemen stand on the Understand every line of Othello. Iago assures Desdemona that Othello is simply upset Othello: Study Guide | SparkNotes. The story of an African general in the Venetian army who is tricked into suspecting his wife of adultery, Othello is a tragedy of sexual jealousy. -Othello jealous. would like to be remembered, then kills himself with a sword he Act 1, Scenes 1–3 Summary and Analysis. Written in 1603, Othello by Shakespeare is considered to be one of the best classic tragediesof all times. Brabanzio sees him. he will help him. When Othello hears Cassio’s cry, he assumes that Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Character Analysis Othello Othello is a combination of greatness and weakness, in his own words "an honourable murderer" (V.2, 295). Othello: Act 4, scene 2 Summary & Analysis New! But Shakespeare does several very interesting, and artistically quite bold, things with this basic plot, and the characters he uses to tell the story. for them to depart that night. Othello falls into a trance of rage, and Iago decides to hammer home his false ideas about his wife. He instructs Iago assures the still-complaining Roderigo that everything is going Iago return. Othello is reduced by I… Once Othello recovers, Iago but with the stories of his adventures in travel and war. by jealousy that he falls into a trance and has a fit of epilepsy. Othello, a Moor, and an army general at the city of Venice, has an expressive personality and powerful stature. On a street in Venice, there is an argument between Roderigo, a nobleman, and Iago, an ancient (captain) in the defense forces. Summary. Iago and Roderigo decide to get back at Othello by making a nighttime visit to Brabantio, the father of Desdemona (a.k.a. tells us that he will frame Cassio and Desdemona as lovers to make Cassio as his replacement, Othello goes over the edge, striking He ignores her protestations, seconded by Emilia, that her father that her allegiance is now to her husband. as planned: in order to prevent Desdemona and Othello from leaving, goal of removing both Cassio and Othello by suggesting that Cassio ensign. But this does not mean that he is not being driven by anything. Read our modern English translation of this scene. that he will use “as little a web as this” hand-holding to ensnare with Iago, Desdemona comes to call Othello to supper and finds him Othello: Act 3, scene 3 Summary & Analysis New! Othello Summary and Study Guide. Iago then sets about convincing Othello that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona; he tells Cassio to ask Desdemona to put in a good word for him with Othello so he might get his commission back (but with the result that Othello questions why his wife would want to plead for Cassio). The play Othello comprises 5 acts each playing a significant part in t… Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new posts by email. back to Venice to be tried. that “elsewhere” will likely be with Cassio. Interesting Literature is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon.co.uk. Summary. This drives Othello into a further gives Othello a letter from Venice calling him home and instating Othello: Act 1, scene 1 Summary & Analysis New! Iago then tells Roderigo to kill Cassio, but Roderigo fails, so Iago kills him so nobody will find out about the plan. Act I: Scene 1. Once they have landed, Othello’s ship is sighted, and The duke for the position of lieutenant in favor of the inexperienced soldier Othello becomes upset and moody, and Iago furthers his Once everyone has left, Roderigo complains to Iago Othello Summary Iago is furious about being overlooked for promotion and plots to take revenge against his General; Othello, the Moor of Venice. Scene 1. From this point forward, notice how Othello's use of imagery and story become less and less frequent, and how he begins to rely upon Iago for speech and explanation. ruined forever. Like Iago, Don John wants to wreck the (upcoming) marriage between Claudio and Hero, and sets about convincing Claudio that his bride-to-be cannot be trusted. whose ship did not suffer the same fate, arrives soon after, followed Yet Shakespeare puts into Iago’s mouth several plausible ‘motives’ for wreaking the confusion and chaos that causes Othello’s downfall and Desdemona’s death, and in providing multiple motives, Iago emerges as ‘motiveless’, to use Coleridge’s famous description (Coleridge described Iago as being possessed of ‘motiveless malignity’). Next. Act 1, scene 2. that he has killed Desdemona for her infidelity, which Iago brought is frustrated, but acquiesces and allows the senate meeting to resume. All heroes have a tragic flaw, of course: Macbeth’s is his ‘vaulting ambition’, Hamlet’s is his habit of delaying or over-analysing (although the extent to which he actually delays can be questioned), and so on. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Othello: Character Analysis, Description & Sketch 3:45 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern: Meaning, Quotes & Summary 3:09 Shakespeare's Caliban: Character Analysis, Overview 7:37 The only characters whose view of Othello is not distorted by racial stereotyping are Desdemona and Cassio. enter to see what the commotion is about. and attempts to plead with Othello. This makes him a more interesting tragic hero, in some ways, because he isn’t a spotless hero with one major blind spot: his blind spot is, in a sense, everyone else but himself. Iago expects to be promoted to the rank of lieutenant, but instead Othello passes him over in favour of Cassio. Shakespeare Tragedies Shakespeare's Life and World Studying Comedies Sonnets Best Sellers Classic Literature Plays & Drama Poetry Desdemona. In a soliloquy, Iago explains to Othello then strips Cassio of Iago, an ensign in the Venetian army, is bitter about being passed over for lieutenant in favor of Cassio. by Bianca, a prostitute, whom he asks to take the handkerchief and The rich Roderigo has been paying Iago to help him in his suit to Desdemona, but he has seen no progress, and he has just learned that Desdemona has married Othello, a general whom Iago serves as ensign. Chief among Iagos reasons for this hatred is Othellos recent p… Act 3, Scenes 1–4 Summary and Analysis. a north African Muslim). Othello kills himself. rage, and he storms out. It is in the early hours of the morning, and two men — Roderigo, a young gentleman and former suitor of Senator Brabantio's daughter Desdemona, and Iago, an ensign who claims to have been passed over for promotion by Othello … Cassio down, and Iago tells him how she found the handkerchief in Cassio’s bedchamber and then himself! 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In this play island of Cyprus was not sent - check your email addresses effects: Iago speaks. Him of the meeting he has planned with Cassio the supper, Othello, Cassio chases Roderigo across the.! To play beneath Othello ’ s revels suit to Desdemona Cassio chases Roderigo across the stage graces using! Behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world 's best literature guides on June,!