Scene by Scene Plot Summary (brief) Flashcards Preview

A Level English Literature - Othello > Scene by Scene Plot Summary (brief) > Flashcards

Flashcards in Scene by Scene Plot Summary (brief) Deck (10)
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Act 1, Scene 1

Roderigo has been paying Iago to help him win over Desdemona, and he has found out that she has married Othello. Iago describes his hatred for Othello, motivated partially by Othello recently promoting Cassio over Iago to be lieutenant, and so Iago is only serving him while he waits for an opportunity for revenge.
Iago encourages Roderigo to rouse Desdemona's family against Othello, so they go and create commotion outside Brabantio's house. Iago and Roderigo tell Brabantio about Desdemona and Othello having sex deliberately vulgarly. Brabantio leaves his house, intending to find Othello and Desdemona.


Act 1, Scene 2

Iago goes to Othello's lodgings to warn him that Brabantio is coming. A group of men come to see Othello, and it turns out to be Cassio and some officers from the Venetian court, who need him about a matter concerning the war and Cyprus. Brabantio and his men then arrive, and Othello calmly brings an imminent conflict to a halt. When Brabantio hears that the Duke has called Othello to the court he decides to bring his cause to the Duke as well


Act 1, Scene 3

The Duke is meeting with senators about the war with Turkey and Brabantio interrupts, demanding that the state helps him get Desdemona back, as she has been taken using 'witchcraft'. The Duke is reluctant to help when he finds out Othello has been accused. Othello defends himself by saying that he told Desdemona stories and she fell in love with him, and the Duke lets him off as he says that it would win over his daughter too.
The Duke tells Othello he needs to go to Cyprus, so Othello asks if accommodations can be provided for Desdemona. Brabantio refuses to let her stay, and Desdemona also refuses to stay so she goes with Othello to Cyprus.
Roderigo tells Iago that he wants to commit suicide, but Iago encourages him to come with him to Cyprus, and that problems would sort themselves out once they made it there. Once Roderigo exits, Iago delivers his first soliloquy laying out his plans


Act 2, Scene 1

The main characters are all arriving at Cyprus, with Othello arriving last. While the others are speaking, Iago belittles women and Desdemona stands up to him. Cassio takes Desdemona to speak separately to the others, and Iago decides he will use Cassio taking Desdemona's hand in his plan. Once Othello arrives, all but Roderigo and Iago go to the castle to celebrate.
Roderigo and Iago talk again, and Iago convinces Roderigo to start an argument with Cassio. Once he leaves, Iago has another soliloquy, in which he mentions how he thinks Othello and Emilia have slept together, and he wants to get revenge by making Othello suspect Cassio has done the same with Desdemona


Act 2, Scene 2

A herald announces that Othello plans a celebration for defeating the Turks and for his marriage


Act 2, Scene 3

Othello and Desdemona leave to consummate their marriage, leaving Cassio in charge. Iago convinces Cassio to drink, then a drunken Cassio and Roderigo fight, Cassio injuring Montano in the process.
Iago then lies about the fight, leading Othello to dismiss Cassio.
Cassio then laments about his reputation, and Iago suggests that he speaks to Desdemona and tries to get her to convince Othello to reinstate him.
Iago has another speech, this time talking about when it appears that he is doing good that he is actually doing the most evil.
Roderigo enters again, angry at Iago, but Iago once more convinces him that everything is going according to plan, then once Roderigo leaves Iago finishes detailing his plan to the audience


Act 3, Scene 1

Cassio sends musicians to play beneath Othello's window, but Othello sends the clown down to dismiss them. Cassio asks the clown to get Emilia so they can speak, Iago then enters and says he will send for Emilia to figure out a way to take Othello aside so that Cassio and Desdemona can talk. Iago exits, then Emilia tells Cassio that Othello and Desdemona have been discussing him, and Desdemona has been begging for him, but Montano's popularity leads Othello to be reluctant to reinstate him


Act 3, Scene 2

Iago, Othello and a gentleman walk together, and Othello gives Iago some letters to deliver and then goes to look at the town's fortification


Act 3, Scene 3

Desdemona asks Othello to reinstate Cassio again, but answers evasively when she tries to set a meeting time. Othello then tells her he wishes to be left alone.
Iago is then alone with Othello, and begins to insinuate there is an affair between Cassio and Desdemona, and Iago feigns reluctance to answer when Othello asks him his opinions on Desdemona's honesty. Iago encourages Othello to watch Desdemona closely when she is with Cassio, and Othello tells Iago to get Emilia to watch when Desdemona and Cassio are together. Othello then muses about his relationship


Act 3, Scene 4

Desdemona wonders to Emilia where her handkerchief is. Othello enters, tells Desdemona to give him her hand (which is moist, so he infers sexual promiscuity), and asks her to produce the handkerchief, which she cannot. He explains its history, and then accuses Desdemona, and she entreats for Cassio as a way to change the subject.
Othello storms off and Emilia laments the fickle nature of men. Iago and Cassio then enter. Desdemona tells Cassio about Othello's bad temper and his poor timing. Emilia speculates about Othello being jealous, but Desdemona maintains conviction that it is a political matter that is upsetting him. Iago promises to go and soothe Othello.
While Cassio waits, Bianca enters, reprimanding him for not visiting her recently, which he apologises for. He asks Bianca to make a copy of a handkerchief he found and Bianca accuses him of asking her to copy the love gift of another woman. He says she is being silly, and they make a plan to meet later that evening