Act I, Scene I-Detailed Summary of Othello: "Othello" by William Shakespeare



Scene I The play opens with the discussion between Iago and Roderigo. Roderigo is reminding Iago "Thou told'st me thou didst hold him(Othello) in thy hate" while he replies "Despise me, if I do not". Iago also tells him that Cassio has been appointed as lieutenant to Othello which stirs Iago's hatred for Othello. Iago wanted that position. He considers Cassio no more than

"a Florentine,
A fellow almost damn'd in a fair wife;
That never set a squadron in the field".

Roderigo wishes to be Othello's hangman. Iago asks Roderigo :

"be judge yourself,
Whether I in any just term am affined
To love the Moor."

Iago further reveals his intentions "I follow him to serve my turn upon him". Iago also tells him that he is hiding his true thinking but once his mission is accomplished, he will reveal his inner thoughts:

"But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
For daws to peck at: I am not what I am."

Othello and Desdemona have married secretly. Iago knows this. He advises Roderigo to wake up the father of Desdemona and plague his happy state. He also advises him to make the story scandalous. Roderigo wakes and tells the tale of marriage to Desdemona's father, Brabantio. At first Brabantio does not believe him but later finds out the truth. Iago slips away saying that though he hates Othello yet he cannot afford to reveal it at this stage. Brabantio is very grieved and angry at the deed of his daughter:

"treason of the blood!
Fathers, from hence trust not your daughters' minds
By what you see them act."

He calls up his men and sets in search of Othello. Roderigo offers to lead the search team and Brabantio agrees. He gets armed men along.




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