Plot and Quotes

Like most of Shakespeare's plays, Othello is divided into five acts. Each of the links to the left will give detail of that specific scene with crucial quotes for the exam. While this is an open book exam, it's useful to remember where the key quotes are in the book to find them easily!

Overview of the play:

Othello marries Desdemona in secret. Iago and Roderigo conspire against him, and go to Brabantio, her father, to tell him the news. At the Senate, Othello isn't punished because they need him in the war between the Turks and Venetians over Cyrus. He is immediately dispatched to Cyprus and Desdemona will follow with Iago, a man of "honesty".

The Turkish fleet is destroyed by storms. Othello orders celebrations, but tells his good friend and Lieutenant Cassio to exercise some restriction. Iago, though, who wishes to bring down Cassio, as he was promoted over him, convinces Cassio to drink. When drunk, Roderigo is instructed to provoke Cassio. They fight and Cassio wounds the governor of Cyprus, Montano. When Othello arrives, he dismisses Cassio from his position. With nowhere to turn, Cassio listens to Iago, who suggests he pleads to Desdemona.

Desdemona promises to help Cassio, but Iago turns Othello against her, claiming she is helping him because she loves Cassio, is cuckolding Othello. When Desdemona drops her handkerchief, Emilia finds it and gives it to Iago. He uses this as proof, in Cassio's hands, of Desdemona's supposed infidelity. Othello is convinced, and moved so that neither Cassio or Desdemona can remain alive.

Iago convinces Roderigo to kill Cassio. He fails, but in the chaos, Iago kills Roderigo, to cover himself. Meanwhile, Othello suffocates Desdemona. When Emilia discovers her mistress dead, she reveals the truth. Iago kills her, but the damage is done. In horror of the realisation, Othello kills himself.