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Othello | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Othello | Scene Summaries

See Scene Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • Night

    Iago and Roderigo meet and commiserate about Othello.

    Act 1, Scene 1
  • Early morning

    Othello is summoned by the Duke of Venice.

    Act 1, Scene 3
  • That day

    Othello, his soldiers, and Desdemona go to Cyprus.

    Act 2, Scene 1
  • That evening

    Cassio gets drunk at the banquet.

    Act 2, Scene 3
  • Next morning

    Cassio asks Desdemona to appeal to Othello on his behalf.

    Act 3, Scene 3
  • During the day

    Desdemona's handkerchief is lost, found, and given to Iago.

    Act 3, Scene 3
  • Later that day

    Othello questions Desdemona about the handkerchief.

    Act 3, Scene 4
  • After dark

    Roderigo attacks Cassio; Iago wounds Cassio; Iago kills Roderigo.

    Act 5, Scene 1
  • That night

    Othello kills Desdemona; Iago kills Emilia; Othello commits suicide.

    Act 5, Scene 2

Scene Summaries Chart

Scene Summary
Act 1, Scene 1 The play opens on a street in Venice. Roderigo, who's been courting Desdemona, is talking to Iago, who's been taking his... Read More
Act 1, Scene 2 Iago demonstrates his loyalty by warning Othello that an angry Brabantio is searching for him. However, Cassio arrives w... Read More
Act 1, Scene 3 The Duke of Venice and his senators meet to determine where the Turkish navy is most likely to attack. When Othello and ... Read More
Act 2, Scene 1 The play's setting moves from Venice to Cyprus, where Cassio has arrived first. A storm has caused delay and there's con... Read More
Act 2, Scene 2 In this short scene, Othello sends a herald to announce that there will be a celebration to mark the destruction of the ... Read More
Act 2, Scene 3 The celebration gets under way. Iago encourages Cassio to drink, hoping to take advantage of his inability to handle liq... Read More
Act 3, Scene 1 Cassio has hired a group of musicians to play outside Othello and Desdemona's room, presumably in order to cheer up his ... Read More
Act 3, Scene 2 At the citadel in Cyprus, Othello, Iago, and some gentlemen stroll together. Othello gives Iago some letters to deliver ... Read More
Act 3, Scene 3 At scene's opening, Desdemona is assuring Cassio she'll help him get his rank back. When Cassio sees Othello and Iago ap... Read More
Act 3, Scene 4 Desdemona is determined to advance Cassio's suit, only to be confronted about her handkerchief. When she tells him she d... Read More
Act 4, Scene 1 This scene begins with a crucial exchange between Iago and Othello. Pivoting on the word "so," Iago again opens a space ... Read More
Act 4, Scene 2 Othello, nearly insane with jealousy, aggressively questions Emilia about Desdemona and Cassio's relationship. Emilia ve... Read More
Act 4, Scene 3 Othello tells Desdemona to go to bed and to send Emilia and her other servants away for the night. As Emilia helps get h... Read More
Act 5, Scene 1 Meanwhile, in a Cyprus street, Iago gives Roderigo a weapon and tells him to wait for Cassio, then kill him. Iago waits ... Read More
Act 5, Scene 2 In the play's final scene, Othello enters his bedchamber with a candle and finds Desdemona asleep in their bed. He won't... Read More
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