Othello – the Moor of Venice Desdemona – Othello’s wife Iago – Othello’s ensign Roderigo – a jealous suitor Brabanzio – Desdemona’s father, Senator of Venice Cassio – Othello’s Lieutenant Emilia – Desdemona’s attendant and Iago’s wife Duke of Venice – the authority in Venice.
Venice Iago and Roderigo are arguing about money and Desdemona (Dialogue). Desdemona has recently married the general Othello, who Iago serves – Cassio was a witness, Iago was hiding. We learn that Iago was passed over and hates Othello. They end up at Brabanzio’s house where Iago tells him his daughter has been “stolen” – Iago is hiding. Brabanzio gets upset and takes a detail of men out to find his daughter and Othello.
Othello’s Place Iago is already with Othello and they see a detail of men approaching. Iago believes it is Brabanzio so he advises Othello to retreat indoors. Othello stands his ground and it turns out to be Cassio and the Duke’s men – Othello is invited to see the Duke. Then Brabanzio and his men arrive – and a fight almost breaks out. But Othello calmly tells them to wait – and they all decide to go see the Duke.
The Duke’s Palace The Duke is discussing the invasion of the Turks. Brabanzio accuses Othello of stealing his wife with “Black magic” – Othello admits he is married to Desdemona, but under her own free will. Desdemona enters – and confirms that she married Othello of her own free-will. The Duke orders Othello to Cyprus to defend against the Turks – Desdemona decides to go with him. Iago’s first soliloquy
The Shores of Cyprus The is a storm and The governor, Montano, is uncertain if Othello’s ship will survive. Iago, Emilia, Desdemona and Cassio all arrive safely – Iago sees Cassio take Desdemona’s hand… Othello arrive safely and greets Desdemona. Iago tells Roderigo that Cassio is interested in Desdemona – and convinces him to start a fight with him. Iago’s second soliloquy.
The Celebration! Othello declares a celebration because of the safety of Cyprus…and his marriage to Desdemona!
On Guard Duty Othello leaves Cassio in charge of security during the festivities – then leaves to consummate his marriage. Iago shows up and tries to convince Cassio that Desdemona is a temptress. Iago tells Cassio to have a drink and to invite some more people. Cassio stumbles off-stage drunk – and Iago tells Montano that he thinks he has too much responsibility for someone with a drinking problem…
Roderigo enters, and Montano suggests that something be said to Othello of Cassio’s drinking problem. Cassio chases Roderigo across the stage, threatening to beat him. Montano steps in to prevent the fight and is attacked by Cassio. As Montano and others attempt to hold Cassio down, Cassio stabs Montano. Othello is called. After much discussion – Othello falls into Iago’s trap and dismisses Cassio. Iago laughs to the audience about how in doing “good” he is really evil…
Othello’s Cassio tries to get back into Othello’s good books. Othello wants nothing to do with him. Iago intervenes and arranges for a private meeting between Cassio and Desdemona.
The Citadel Iago, Othello, and a gentleman walk together at the citadel. Othello gives Iago some letters to deliver and decides to take a look at the town’s fortifications.
In the Citadel Othello walks in on Desdemona, Emilia and Cassio – Cassio leaves quickly. Othello is not sure if it was Cassio he saw – but Desdemona begs him to re-instate Cassio. Iago starts insinuating that Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair. Othello is full of doubt – believing he is to “black” for someone as beautiful and fair as Desdemona. The sleeping story and the handkerchief?
In the Citadel Desdemona and Emilia send message to Cassio – Desdemona wonders where her handkerchief might be. Othello enters and asks to borrow her handkerchief…a long story…When she cannot produce it – Othello gets angry! Cassio arrives and Desdemona tells him Othello is in a bad mood – Emilia thinks he is jealous. Bianca enters and Cassio asks her to copy a handkerchief he found in his bedroom.
Othello’s Rage Iago goads Othello with stories about nakedness and handkerchiefs – finally Iago tells Othello what Cassio told him…He loses it. Cassio arrives and Iago tells Othello to hide and watch Cassio’s face as they talk – Iago actually talks to him about Bianca. Othello is beside himself with rage and starts contemplating killing his wife. Othello is really pissed. He hits Desdemona. People wonder if he is mad.
“The Cunning Whore” Othello interrogates Emilia about Desdemona. Desdemona tries to find out from Iago why Othello is treating her as such. Roderigo enters and is angry that Iago has not delivered – Iago lies to him. He convinces Roderigo to kills Cassio…
Bedtime Othello sends Desdemona to bed – she seems prepared for what is about to happen. She sings – and talk about how she would rather meet bad deeds with good deeds.
“This is the fruits of whoring…” Iago and Roderigo plan to ambush Cassio on his way out of the brothel. Roderigo and Iago stab Cassio – Othello hears the commotion. Iago pretends to “find” Cassio and his assailant – who he stabs without hesitation.
The Death Scene Holding a candle, Othello stands over the sleeping Desdemona and prepares to kill her. They talk – Othello accuses her of sleeping with Cassio, who is dead, Desdemona weeps for him (which doesn’t help the situation…) Othello smothers Desdemona – and then immediately regrets it. Emilia calls for help!
The Final Death Scene Emilia’s confession - everything about the handkerchief is also told. Iago stabs his wife – and runs. Iago is caught – and Othello kills him. The guards tell Othello he will be taken back to Venice and out on trial. Othello says “I took by the throat the circumcised dog / and smote him thus” – and stabs himself.