Course Hero Logo
Literature Study GuidesOthelloAct 5 Scene 1 Summary

Othello | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

Get the eBook on Amazon to study offline.

Buy on Amazon Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Othello Study Guide." Course Hero. 20 Dec. 2016. Web. 29 May 2023. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2016, December 20). Othello Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved May 29, 2023, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2016)



Course Hero. "Othello Study Guide." December 20, 2016. Accessed May 29, 2023.


Course Hero, "Othello Study Guide," December 20, 2016, accessed May 29, 2023,

Act 5, Scene 1

Professor Bradley Greenburg of Northeastern Illinois University provides an in-depth summary and analysis of Act 5, Scene 1 of William Shakespeare's play Othello.

Othello | Act 5, Scene 1 | Summary



Meanwhile, in a Cyprus street, Iago gives Roderigo a weapon and tells him to wait for Cassio, then kill him. Iago waits nearby, hidden, as Roderigo attempts this, and fails. Instead, Roderigo is wounded by Cassio. Iago darts into the midst of this action, wounds Cassio, and exits. Othello hears Cassio's cry and believes Iago has carried out Cassio's murder; Othello dashes off to complete his part of the plan. Graziano and Lodovico enter, looking for the source of all the commotion. Iago then enters, pretending he's just arrived for the first time. He fakes concern for Cassio, then deals Roderigo a mortal wound, as if in retaliation for the attack on Cassio. Bianca arrives and is worried about Cassio's wound. Iago tries to blame her for the attack on Cassio. Lodovico, Graziano, and others help bear Cassio away to have his wound treated.


This scene takes place at night, which is important because in the dark, Iago can control the assassination attempt without his participation being known. In the confusion, Iago can direct the fight, cleaning up the loose end of Roderigo, who has suddenly become an unnecessary complication.

It's interesting that until this fight, Iago's plans have gone off perfectly. He's controlled every detail. However, Roderigo's incompetence at killing Cassio forces Iago to think quickly of another way to achieve his ends and still keep his true nature concealed. After all, he has a reputation as an honest man, and he doesn't want to lose that. So Iago wounds Cassio then kills Roderigo so he can't give away Iago's role in the plot.

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Othello? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!