Othello Summary Act By Act

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Othello, the Moor of Venice ACT 1 Scene 1 • In Venice, Roderigo and Iago arguing. • Both hate a man which they are referring to as the Moor (we don’t know his name still). • We know this man is married to Desdemona the daughter of Brabantio a Venetian senator (politician). • Roderigo is in love with Desdemona and has paid Iago (the Moor’s ensign or standard bearer) to help him win her. Roderigo is upset that the Moor has married his beloved Desdemona. • Iago sais that he also hates the Moor as he promoted Michael Cassio to lieutenant (a position above the one of standard bearer). He is angry at the Moor as he believes he has more abilities in war than Cassio which is only educated and has no real experience in the battlefield. • He sais that he only pretends to be a faithful office, but follows the Moor only to serve his purposes. • Iago suggests taking revenge against the Moor, Roderigo agrees. • They tell Barbatio (Desdemona’s father) about his daughters elopement (secret marrige without his consent). • Barbantio at first doesn’t believe them, thinks they are drunks. Later on he checks and realizes its true and tells Roderigo to accompany him to search for the Moor. • In the meantime Iago runs to advise the Moor and to not be recognized by Barbantio. Scene 2 • Iago catches up with Othello and tells him that Barbantio is going to fetch him. • Othello is not worried, seems very calm. • Cassio, Othello’s lieutenant, comes and tells Othello he is immediately required at the senate. Othello goes to fetch his things and when he is about to leave… • Barbantio arrives and wants to fight. • Othello does not want to fight. Here there is a role reversal as Barbantio is a politician and wants to fight, instead Othello is a soldier a man of action and decides not to. What does this say about Othello? Definitely a contrast to how he was previously
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