Othello – Summary of Act I.
Shakespeare's famous play of love turned bad by unfounded jealousy, begins in Venice with Iago, a soldier under Othello's command arguing with Roderigo, a wealthy Venetian. Roderigo has paid Iago a considerable sum of money to spy on Othello for him, since he wishes to take Othello's girlfriend, Desdemona as his own.
Roderigo fears that Iago has not been telling him enough about Desdemona and that this proves Iago's real loyalty is to Othello not him.
Iago explains his hatred of Othello for choosing Cassio as his officer or lieutenant and not him as he expected.
To regain Roderigo's trust, Iago and Roderigo inform Brabantio, Desdemona's father of her ...view middle of the document...
The Duke orders Othello to Cypress to fight the Turks, with Desdemona to follow, accompanied by the trusted Iago.
Roderigo despairs that his quest for Desdemona is over now that she is married, but Iago tells him not to give up and earn money instead; soon Desdemona will bore of Othello.
Alone, Iago reveals his intention to continue using Roderigo for money and his hatred of Othello (Othello picked Cassio and not Iago for his lieutenant).
Iago explains that his plan is avenge Othello is to suggest to Othello that Cassio is sleeping with Desdemona (Othello's wife).
Othello - Act 1 Study Guide Name: ______________________
1. What reason does Iago give for his hatred of Othello?
2. What information do Roderigo and Iago give to Brabantio regarding Desdemona’s whereabouts?
3. How does Iago make himself look favorable in Othello’s eyes?
4. What news does Michael Cassio bring when he enters?
5. To what does Brabantio attribute Desdemona’s affections for Othello?
6. What is the military issue that the Duke of Venice and his senators discuss?
7. What accusation does Brabantio make against Othello to the duke?
8. What explanation does Othello give as cause for Desdemona’s affection for him?
9. To whom does Desdemona pledge her duty?
10. In the final speech of Act I, what does Iago plan to do to further his plot against Othello?
11. What does Brabantio accuse Othello of doing to make Desdemona fall in love with him?
12. Why Desdemona fall in love with Othello?
13. What does everyone agrees to do by the end of the act?
Othello – Summary of Act II.
Several weeks later in Cypress, Montano and several others are awaiting Othello's arrival by bark or ship. We learn that a terrible storm has largely battered and destroyed the Turkish fleet, which no longer poses a threat to Cypress. Unfortunately there are fears that this same storm drowned Othello as well.
Montano reveals his high praise of Othello, which is shared by many. Cassio, who has arrived, sings Desdemona's praises. A ship is spotted but it is Desdemona and Iago's not Othello's. Iago suspects that Cassio loves Desdemona and slyly uses it to his advantage.
Iago tells Roderigo that he still has a chance with Desdemona but Cassio whom Desdemona could love is in the way. Killing Cassio (who became Othello's lieutenant instead of Iago) will leave Desdemona to Roderigo, Iago slyly explains.
Othello finally arrives to everyone's great relief. Iago decides to tell Othello that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona's so Iago will be rewarded whilst Cassio will be punished.
A Herald announces celebration that "our noble general Othello!" has defeated the Turkish fleet, calling on all to celebrate this great triumph and also to celebrate Othello's "nuptial" or wedding to the fair Desdemona.