By William Shakespeare
Day 1, Act 1
The setting of Act 1 begins in the dark streets of Venice. The characters Iago and
Roderigo are introduced. The two deceive Brabantio by telling him that his daughter
Desdemona has eloped with Othello. Brabantio then goes out after Othello.
The setting switches to an inn called the Sagittary. Iago then warns Othello of
Brabantio's anger, but this does not worry Othello for he truly loves Desdemona. Cassio,
Othello's attendant, arrives with news that Othello must meet with the duke and senators
immediately. Brabantio arrives just as Othello is leaving, so Brabantio decides to go with
him to present the case of his daughter's theft to the duke.
The charges against Othello are presented to the duke, and he asks for proof. They
send for Desdemona and she tells them she married Othello for love. Othello must then
report to Cyprus, along with Desdemona under Iago's care. Roderigo is desperate for
Desdemona's love and threatens suicide. Iago tells Roderigo to sell all his land, disguise
himself, and purse Desdemona in Cyprus.
Some things I noticed about the characters.
Iago is completely two faced. He is Othello's ancient yet hates Othello because
Cassio was named lieutenant instead of him.
He is sarcastic about the situation when
talking to Roderigo. "This countercaster, he, in good time, must his lieutenant be, and I,
God bless the mark, his Moorship's ancient (9)."
He also mentions that Cassio never saw
battle and that "preferment goes by letter and affection (9)." He even admits to caring
only for himself and that his service to Othello was just a show (11).
"I am not what I am
(Oh yeah-he seems to swear a lot too!)
He tells Roderigo he hates Othello, yet
warns Othello of Brabantio and says "he prated and spoke such scurvy and provoking
terms against your honor. (21)" Iago does not really act like a true friend to Roderigo as
well when he says "put money in thy purse" over and over again. He is using Roderigo to
try and break up the marriage to get back at Othello for not naming him as lieutenant.
(Looks like we have a conflict.) Roderigo seems to soak up everything Iago tells him
simply because he is a love sick puppy. He only wants Desdemona. He even threatened
suicide after he knew she was truly married (139).
Othello comes across as a "good ole boy" to me. When Brabantio and his men
approached drawing their swords, Othello said "Keep up your bright swords for the dew
will rust them. Good signor, you shall more command with years than with your weapons
(25)." He also thinks Iago is a "man of honesty and trust (49)", yeah right.
My dad would
be upset if I ran away and got married, so Brabantio has every right to be angry. One
thing he said made me think though. "Look to her, Moor, of thou hast eyes to see. She
has deceived her father, and may thee (49)." Could this be foreshadowing? I like
Desdemona so far because she brings in the love story. She fell in love with a true
"knight in shining armor". Not only that but she ran away and left her family for him! ( I