Essay, Research Paper: Othello Summary

Shakespeare: Othello

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Plot Summary Iago is passed over for a promotion by his commander, Othello, a
Moor and a general in the service of Venice, and vows revenge. Othello has just
married Desdemona, the daughter of Brabantio, a Venetian Senator, and Iago
enlists the aid of Roderigo, a rejected suitor, to tell Desdemona's father about
the marriage. Brabantio goes to seize his daughter, but is interrupted by news
of a Turkish attack on Cyprus. The Duke and the Senate convene, and after
hearing Desdemona and Othello testify to their love for one another, they allow
her to accompany him to Cyprus, which he will defend against the Turks. Iago,
whom Othello regards as honest and trustworthy, is given charge of Desdemona on
the journey. At Cyprus, Iago has Roderigo start a brawl, in which Cassio,
Othello's lieutenant, wounds another man. Othello strips Cassio of his command,
and Cassio goes to Desdemona to ask her to convince her husband to reinstate
him. Iago, meanwhile, sets about convincing Othello that Desdemona has been
unfaithful to him{with Cassio. Through innuendo and pretended hon- esty, Iago
makes Othello almost mad with jealousy, until the Moor names him his lieutenant
and makes Iago promise to help him kill Cassio and Des-demona. Desdemona has
lost a handkerchief that Othello gave her as a love-token, and Emilia, Iago's
wife, _nds it and gives it to her husband. Iago plants the handkerchief in
Cassio's house, and then arranges for Othello to see Cassio give it to his
mistress, Bianca. Othello is now convinced that Cassio has betrayed him with
Desdemona, and that Cassio is aunting his sexual conquest by giving Desdemona's
handkerchief to a common whore. Othello begins abusing his wife in front of
messengers from Venice, who are amazed to see this change in a man they thought
to be noble. That night, Othello tells his wife to wait for him in bed and goes
out to walk about the city. Iago has convinced Roderigo that if he kills Cassio,
Desdemona will sleep with him, so Roderigo attacks the former lieutenant. Cassio
is saved by his mail shirt and wounds Roderigo; Iago ees, stabbing Cassio as he
goes. Othello, passing, hears the cries and thinks that Cassio is killed, and so
returns to the castle to kill Desdemona. Meanwhile, Iago and the Venetian
messengers _nd the wounded men; Iago secretly kills Roderigo and sends Emilia to
the castle with news of the brawl. Othello awakens Desdemona, tells her that she
must die, and strangles her. Emilia returns and _nds her mistress; Desdemona
revives for a moment and then dies, saying as she passes away that Othello is
innocent of her death. Her husband, however, proclaims his own guilt, and as the
others return, Emilia realizes her husband's plot and exposes it. Iago, furious,
stabs her and ees; he is captured, and ordered to be tortured to death. Othello,
heart-stricken, makes a _nal speech in which he passes sentence on himself, and
then commits suicide. He falls beside Desdemona.
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