Summary of othello

The play opens late at night on a street in Venice. Roderigo, a

wealthy Venetian gentleman, is discussing the marriage of

Desdemona, the daughter of Brabantio. Earlier in the evening,

she had eloped with Othello, a Moor who is a respected General

in the Venetian army. Roderigo is angry with Iago, for he has

paid him a handsome sum to win the love of Desdemona for

himself and to keep him informed of her love life.

Iago, like Roderigo, is a frustrated man. Othello has overlooked

him for a promotion, giving the post of lieutenant to Cassio. Iago

continues only as Othello's standard bearer and an ensign in the

navy. As a result, he has a grudge against both Othello and

Cassio and vows to have revenge upon both of them.

At Iago's suggestion, he and Roderigo go to wake up Brabantio

and tell him about the elopement of his daughter. Iago is very

bawdy in his descriptions. The old Venetian Senator is very

angry that his sleep has been disturbed with such news, but he

searches his house and finds that his daughter is missing.

Coming downstairs, Brabantio is a mess, not thinking clearly and

speaking in half-sentences. He bemoans the fact that he did not

encourage Roderigo as his daughter's suitor. He also demands to

Iago quietly slips away from the scene. He does not want Othello

to know anything about the part he played in inciting Brabantio;

to make his plans work, Iago must stay in the good graces of

Othello and appear to be a loyal ensign. Before leaving, he tells

Roderigo that Othello and Desdemona are staying at the

Sagittary Inn. Roderigo offers to take Brabantio there.

In this second scene, Iago reveals his scheming and treachery, as

he applies it to the unsuspecting Othello. He reaches the

Sagittary Inn before Roderigo and Brabantio. Pretending

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