Simple Summaries



Sarah Frank

Act 1, Scene 1:

·       Roderigo and Iago get into a fight

o  Roderigo is a nobleman and Iago is a warrior

·       Roderigo is in love with Desdemona and paid Iago to give D gifts for him

·       Desdemona’s father, Brabantio, does not know that she has run off with Othello, a black ban in the army

·       Roderigo is upset because he thinks Desdemona is gone and that he thus wasted money and gifts on her

·       Iago assures Roderigo that he has a plan. Iago is already upset with Othello for making Cassio lieutenant instead of him.

·       Iago wants to take Othello down: Iago gets revenge and Roderigo gets Desdemona

·       Their first step is banging and yelling until Brabantio comes out to his balcony

o  I wants to get D’s father on their side by making him angry

·       Iago exposes that D ran away with Othello

·       Brabantio is upset and rallies people to look for his daughter (D)


Act 1: Scene 2

·       Iago tells Othello that someone is going to try to split him and Desdemona up

·       Othello meets with the Duke in Venice

·       Iago tells Cassio that Othello and D got married

·       B’s search party arrives and B tells Othello that he will hurt him

·       B says his daughter would never marry Othello out of choice so B must have seduced her with magic

·       B demands that Othello be arrested


Act 1: Scene 3

·       There are warnings of a Turkish fleet prepping to attack

·       Othello goes to meet Iago, Cassio, Brabantio, and the Duke

·       The Duke gives Othello the job of defending Cyprus

·       The Duke promises to support Brabantio in suing the man B is upset at for witchcraft. However, when he discovers the man is Othello, he takes that back and asks Othello to share his side of the story.

·       Othello says he did not use witchcraft: he just spoke to her persuasively

·       The Duke wants Desdemona to come and speak for herself

o   Iago goes to get D

·       The Duke says he believes Othello

·       Desdemona enters and says that she appreciates her father but is loyal to her husband now and that B needs to respect that

·       Othello leaves to defend Cyprus. D wants to go with him and the Duke let shim.

·       Othello tells Iago to follow in another ship with Desdemona and anything else important

·       Iago’s wife, Emilia, is assigned to be D’s maid

·       B warns Othello that D clearly isn’t loyal. Othello assures him that D will be loyal to him.

·       Roderigo tells Iago he wants to kill himself. Iago says that’s silly and that he should come to Cyprus.

·       Iago says he will help Roderigo get Desdemona

·       Iago is alone and has to think about what to do

o   He thinks Othello and his wife Emilia had sex, fueling his anger

o   He wants to be lieutenant instead of Cassio


Act 2: Scene 1

·       In Cyprus, the yare waiting for the Venetian ships (D, C, O, etc) but there was a storm that delayed them and destroyed them so they’re not really a threat anymore.

·       Cassio’s ship arrives

·       D’s ship arrives

·       D asks where Othello is and he finally arrives

·       Desdemona and Othello go into the fortress but Iago tells Roderigo that D loves Cassio

·       This makes Roderigo mad and Roderigo wants to fight Cassio (as Iago planned)

·       Iago has another soliloquy and is hating on Othello as well as planning to drive him mad


Act 2: Scene 2

·       There is an announcement that there will be parties to celebrate Othello getting married to Desdemona and the neutralized Turkish threat

o  This means Iago has time to set his anti-Othello plan into motion

o  Contrasts the darkness of the rest of the play


Act2: Scene 3

·       While the festivities rage on, Cassio takes orders from Othello while on night watch

·       Cassio and Iago will stay watch while Othello and Desdemona go sleep together

·       Iago tries to get in Cassio’s head about Desdemona but Cassio is not phased

·       Iago pressures Cassio to drink because he knows he’s a lightweight

·       Iago riles up Roderigo so he fights Cassio.

·       Iago tells Roderigo to wake up Othello and ring the alarm

·       Othello is angry and wants to know who started it

·       Iago points a finger at Cassio and Othello tells Cassio to leave his post

·       Othello goes back to bed

·       Iago tells Cassio to tell Desdemona to talk to Othello about him

·       Iago’s wife Emilia sets up a meeting for C and D


Act 3: Scene 1

·       Cassio sends a countryman to find Emilia

·       Emilia says D and O were talking about what happened the prior night

·       D spoke up for C and Othello agrees to let him stay


Act 3: Scene 2

·       Othello sends a letter to Venice


Act 3: Scene 3

·       Cassio asks D to talk to Othello for him. D agrees to talk Othello into forgiveness knowing Othello likes Cassio.

·       Cassio embraces D before leaving when Othello and Iago enter

·       Iago makes a comment about them hugging and it gets to Othello

·       D starts talking to Othello about Cassio and Othello agrees to meet with Cassio

·       Iago keeps hinting at Cassio and D being together

·       Othello tries to not let Iago get to him and not be jealous but he can’t help it

·       Othello starts worrying Brabantio was correct about Desdemona never loving him

·       When D comes back, Othello keeps an eye on her

·       Iago wanted Emilia to steal D’s handkerchief to make a copy for evidence of cheating

·       Iago sees that Othello is having doubts

·       Othello is upset with Iago and demands to know what he knows

·       Iago tells Othello that Cassio embraced him and called him D in his sleep. He said he saw Cassio use Desdemona’s handkerchief (or rather, one with strawberries)

·       Othello is angry and believes D cheated

·       Iago offers to help, of course

·       Othello starts planning to kill D


Act 3: Scene 4

·       Desdemona demands a message be delivered to Cassio

·       D says to Emilia that she is missing her hankerchief

·       Othello asks D for her hand and he accuses her of being a whore

·       Othello asks for her handkerchief but of course, D doesn’t have it

·       The hankerchief has meaning because Othello’s mother gave it to him on her deathbed.

·       Desdemona just says she lost it

·       Othello is angry and leaves

·       Cassio and Iago come in and D tells C that Othello is upset

·       Iago says she will handle it

·       Emilia says Othello is jealous but D thinks Othello is upset by something other thanher

·       D tells Cassio that she wants to talk to Othello first

·       A prostitute named Bianca enters and tells Cassio to visit her more

·       Cassio says he’s been stressed than asks her to make a copy of a handkerchief

·       Bianca is jealous, thinking the handkerchief belongs to another woman

·       Cassio assures her it’s not the case

·       They plan to meet later


Act 4, Scene 1

·       Iago tells Othello that he needs to be chill about D: it’s no big deal if she was naked with Cassio as long as they didn’t have sex

·       Iago says Emilia could do whatever with a handkerchief if he gave her one

·       Othello gets riled up and angry, he can’t stop thinking about the handkerchief and Desdemona

·       Iago admits that Cassio told him he had sex with Desdemona

·       Othell loses it and falls into a trance

·       Cassio comes in and Iago warns Cassio to stay away

·       Othello comes back to reality and Iago tells him to hide and watch Cassio when C and I talk

·       Iago actually plans to joke with Cassio about Bianca (the prostitute) but make it seems like they’re talking about D so O gets mad

·       That’s exactly what happens

·       Othello wants to kill Cassio and is mourning the heartbreak of D

·       Othello feels like he doesn’t know D anymore

·       Iago offers to help kill Cassio

·       D enters with Lodovico who has a letter from the duke

·       Lodovico asks Othello about Cassio and D annoys him by answering L’s questions and that annoys Othello

·       In the letter, the duke calls Othello back to Venice and wants Cassio to stay

·       D is excited to leave Cyprus and Othello hits her

·       Lodovico is shocked by Othello hitting D

·       Othello calls D back and accuses her of cheating

·       Othello says he will go back to Venice and then leaves

·       Lodovico stands in shock and thinks Othello has gone crazy


Act 4, Scene 2

·       Othello asks Emilia about Desdemona cheating on him but Emilia says that he has nothing to worry about

·       Othello tells Emilia to go fetch Desdemona and she does

·      Othello tells Emilia to guard the door and then starts crying to Desdemona about how she cheated

·       Desdemona denies it and Othello sarcastically pretends to mix her up with someone else

·       Othello starts crying and Emilia comes back to comfort Desdemona

·       D tells E to put her wedding sheets on the bed and bring in Iago

·       D asks Iago why Othello thinks she cheated on him

·       E says to Iago that Othello was clearly told lies by someone

·       Iago says that Othello is just upset because of his job

·       A trumpet sounds so Emilia and Desdemona have to go to dinner

·       Roderigo comes and wants to pursue Desdemona but Iago says that Othello is being sent away so he R just needs to get rid of Cassio


Act 4, Scene 3

·       After the dinner, Othello tells D to go to bed and that he will come after going out with Lodovico

·       D is nervous but does as she’s told

·       D tells Emilia to use her wedding sheets as a shroud if she dies

·      D sings a song about a woman whose love cost her her life

·       D asks Eif she’d ever cheat on her husband for money or glory but Emilia says no

·       Emilia starts talking about the fact that women want sex just as much as men do and that men who cheat on their wives are just as guilty as wives who cheat on their husbands

·       D gets ready to go to bed


Act 5, Scene 1

·       Cassio is at the brothel where Bianca works

·       Iago and Roderigo wait outside to jump Cassio

·       Iago is about to leave but Roderigo asks him to stay in case he needs help

·       Roderigo stabs Cassio as soon as he sees him but doesn’t break through the armor

·       Cassio stabs Roderigo in return but then Iago jumps out and stabs Cassio

·       Cassio falls and doesn’t see that it was Iago who stabbed his leg

·       Othello enters and runs to Cassio, thinking Iago killed him

·       Othello decides to go kill Desdemona

·       Lodovico and Graziano enter the area by the brothel. They can’t see them but they hear them crying for help. They worry it’s a trap but then ask Cassio about what happened.

·       Bianca joins the scene and starts crying when she sees that Cassio is hurt

·       Iago plays dumb asks Cassio what happened but Cassio doesn’t know

·       Both Cassio and Roderigo die

·       Iago fills Emilia in and both of them tell Bianca it’s her fault Cassio died

·       Iago arrests Bianca and tells Emilia to fill in Othello and Desdemona


Act5, Scene 2

·       Othello prepares to kill D as she sleeps but she wakes up

·       Othello threatens to kill her and D asks why

·       Othello says he’s killing her because she cheated on him with Cassio and that he say the handkerchief as proof

·       D denies it, of course

·       Othello doesn’t believe her and is angry. He smothers her.

·       Emilia makes noise outside the room and Othello thinks the noise is D and that she’s not actually dead so he suffocates her again

·       Othello hides the body and lets Emilia come into the room. She tells him that Cassio killed Roderigo but that Cassio is still alive

·       Othello realizes everything is wrong

·       D yells for help but then says to Emilia that she killed herself before dying

·       Othello then tells Emilia that HE killed D because she cheated

·       Emilia yells and Iago, Montano, and Graziano come

·       Emilia accuses Iago of being behind this

·       Othello loses it and starts crying, hoping Iago was telling the truth and he rightfully killed Desdemona

·       Othello brings up the evidence (the handkerchief) and Emilia’s guilt causes her to try to explain

·       Iago tries to kill Emilia before she can spill the beans but Graziano stops him

·       Emilia tells the truth!

·       Othello tries to kill Iago but Montano stops him

·       Iago kills Emilia and runs

·       Othello is alone with Emilia (who is dying) and who says that D was good and loyal