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Othello Notes

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HUMA 1780
Sharon Davidson

Othello Notes-Summary Characters: Othello: The protagonist of the play. Christian Moor and General of the armies of Venice. Desdemona: Daughter of the Venetian senator Brabanzio. She is secretly married to Othello before the play begins. Iago: Othello’s ensign and the villain of the play. He despises Othello because he was passed on for promotion to lieutenant. Emilia: Iago’s wife and Desdemona’s attendant. Michael Cassio: Othello’s lieutenant. Iago hates his position. He’s young and good looking, which Iago uses to plot jealousy and hatred in Othello for his wife. Roderigo: Jealous suitor of Desdemona. Rich and Foolish, he pays Iago to try to get to Desdemona. Bianca: Prostitute in Cyprus. Her favourite customer is Michael Cassio. Brabanzio: The senator of Venice, important figure of the city. Duke of Venice: The official authority in Venice. Plays an important role in reconciling Brabanzio’s relationship with Othello (Act I, Scene iii) after Brabanzio finds out about Othello’s marriage. Montano: Governor of Cyprus. Lodovico and Graziano: Messenger from Venice to Cyprus. Brabanzio’s kinsmen. Act I Scene I  Play starts off with an argument going on between Iago and Roderigo.  Roderigo has been paying Iago to help him get to Desdemona, no progress made so far.  Iago tells him that Desdemona has married Iago.  Roderigo gets angrier, but Iago says he resents Othello because he wasn’t promoted to Lieutenant.  He tells Roderigo to reach outside Brabanzio’s and tell him that his daughter ran away.  Brabanzio, unconvinced at first, gets serious later and follows Roderigo to Othello’s with his men. Scene II  Cassio and his men go to Othello and Iago. He tells Othello that Duke wants him to deal with matter in Cyprus.  Iago says Othello is married, but then Brabanzio and his men appear.  Fight is about to happen, but Othello tells everyone to calm down and give up their swords.  Othello says he’s summoned by the Duke, Brabanzio states he will solve his issue to the Duke as well. Scene III  The Turks are invading Cyprus. This is concerning for the Duke.  Othello, Brabanzio and others show up to the Duke’s. Brabanzio says his daughter has been seduced under magic.  Othello explains his side of the story, telling the Duke that he never used any magic or potions to woo Desdemona.  Duke gets convinced of Othello’s story, Desdemona enters and says she is loyal to Othello and no magic was used.  Brabanzio lets go of this matter and allows them to carry on with state affairs.  Duke wants Othello to go to Cyprus. Desdemona doesn’t want to be with father so she decides to go with Othello.  Everyone leaves, leaving Roderigo and Iago. Roderigo gets frustrated. Iago tells him to follow them to Cyprus.  Soliloquy: Iago reveals his plans; he believes that Othello slept with his wife Emilia.  He further states his intentions, cheating Roderigo of his money, making Othello believe Desdemona’s cheating etc. Act II Scene I  Montano believes that the Turks drowned because of a storm, Cassio, the first to arrive, confirms this.  The 2 ship arrives, carrying Iago, Roderigo, Desdemona, Emilia. Wife’s worried of Othello, he arrives at the end.  Everyone except Roderigo and Iago celebrate the Turks drowning.  Iago convinces Roderigo that Desdemona will leave Othello and find someone better looking.  He then tells him Cassio is a danger, he is a good friend of Desdemona and may have his intentions of stealing her.  He convinces Roderigo to start up a fight with Cassio. This will help Othello despise Cassio.  Another soliloquy: Iago wants to sleep with Desdemona because he suspects Othello slept with Emilia.  If that doesn’t work out, he will plot jealousy in Othello and drive him mad. Scene II  Othello plans to engage in festivities for the evening, because Cyprus is safe from Turks and his marriage. Scene III  Othello leaves the festivities with Desdemona to celebrate the wedding night, leaving Cassio on guard.  Iago and Roderigo join Cassio. Iago convinces him to have a drink  Soliloquy: Iago states that Roderigo is drunk, and he will make Cassio do something stupid.  Something happens, Cassio is chasing Roderigo, Montana tries to stop the fight and gets stabbed. Alarm sounds.  Othello shows up, Iago pretends to show pity for Cassio. Othello falls for this, dismisses Cassio of his services.  Iago talk
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