Short summary - The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice - William Shakespeare

British literature summaries -

Short summary - The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice
William Shakespeare

Venice. At the house of Senator Brabantio, the Venetian nobleman Rodrigo, unrequitedly in love with Senator Desdemona’s daughter, rebukes his friend Iago for accepting the rank of lieutenant from Othello, the noble Moor, general in the Venetian service. Iago justifies himself: he himself hates the high-handed African because he, bypassing Iago, a professional military man, has appointed Cassio, a mathematician, who is also younger than Iago for years, as his deputy (lieutenant). Iago intends to take revenge on both Othello and Cassio. Having finished the altercation, the friends raise a cry and wake Brabancio. They inform the old man that his only daughter Desdemona fled with Othello. The senator is in despair, he is sure that his child was the victim of witchcraft. Iago leaves, and Brabantio and Rodrigo go for the guards to arrest the kidnapper with their help.

With fake friendliness, Iago hurries to warn Othello, who has just married Desdemona, that his newly-made father-in-law is furious and is about to show up here. The noble Moor does not want to hide: «... I do not hide. / My name, title justify me / And my conscience. " Cassio appears: the Doge urgently demands a glorified general. Brabantio enters, accompanied by a guard, he wants to arrest his abuser. Othello stops the hassle, ready to break out, and answers the father-in-law with soft humor. It turns out that Brabantio should also be present at the emergency council of the head of the republic, the Doge.

There was a commotion in the council chamber. Every now and then messengers appear with conflicting news. One thing is clear: the Turkish fleet goes to Cyprus; to master it. Othello, the Doge, announces an urgent appointment: the "brave Moor" is sent to fight against the Turks. However, Brabancio accuses the general of attracting Desdemona by the power of witching charms, and she threw herself «on the chest of the monster more blackly than soot / Inspiring fear, not love». Othello asks to send for Desdemona and listen to her, and meanwhile sets out the story of his marriage: being in the house of Brabantio, Othello, at his request, told about his full of adventures and sorrows of life. The young daughter of the senator was struck by the fortitude of this already middle-aged and not at all handsome man, she cried over his stories and was the first to confess her love. "I fell in love with her with my fearlessness, / She told me with my sympathy." Following Doge Desdemona’s ministers, she meekly but firmly answers her father’s questions: «... I am henceforth / Obedient to the Moor, to my husband.» Brabantio humbles himself and wishes the young happiness. Desdemona asks for permission to go after her husband to Cyprus. The Doge does not mind, and Othello entrusts Desdemon with the care of Iago and his wife Emilia. They must sail to Cyprus with her. Young are removed. Rodrigo is desperate, he is about to drown. «Try only to do this,» Iago tells him, «and I will forever be friends with you.» With cynicism, not without wit, Iago urges Rodrigo not to give in to feelings. Everything will still change - the Moor and the charming Venetian are not a couple, Rodrigo will still enjoy his beloved, Iago's revenge will be accomplished in this way. «Fill your wallet harder» - the insidious lieutenant repeats these words many times. The hopeful Rodrigo leaves, and the imaginary friend laughs at him: «... this fool serves me as a purse and gift fun ...» The Moor is also simple-minded and trustful, so do not whisper to him that Desdemona is too friendly with Cassio, and he He is handsome, and his manners are excellent, why not a seducer?

The inhabitants of Cyprus rejoice: a strong storm broke the Turkish galleys. But the same storm swept across the sea going to the aid of the Venetian ships, so that Desdemona comes ashore before her husband. Until his ship docked, the officers entertained her with chatter. Iago ridicules all women: «All of you are visiting - pictures, / Ratchets at home, cats - at the stove, / Grumpy innocence with claws, / Devils in a martyr's crown». And this is the softest! Desdemona is outraged by his barracks humor, but Cassio stands up for his co-worker: Iago is a soldier, "he cuts straightforwardness." Othello appears. The meeting of the spouses is unusually gentle. Before going to bed, the general instructs Cassio and Iago to check the guards. Iago offers a drink "for the black Othello" and, although Cassio does not tolerate wine and tries to refuse to drink, he nevertheless solders it. Now the lieutenant’s knee-deep sea and Rodrigo, trained by Iago, easily provokes him into a quarrel. One of the officers is trying to separate them, but Cassio grabs his sword and injures the hapless peacekeeper. Iago with the help of Rodrigo raises the alarm. Beats the alarm. Appearing, Othello finds out from the "honest Iago" the details of the fight, states that Iago is barring his friend Cassio out of kindness, and removes the lieutenant from his post. Cassio sobered up and burns with shame. Iago "from a loving heart" gives him advice: seek reconciliation with Othello through his wife, because she is so generous. Cassio gratefully leaves. He does not remember who gave him a drink, provoked a fight and slandered before his comrades. Iago is thrilled - now Desdemona, asking for Cassio herself, will help to denigrate her good name, and he will destroy all his enemies using their best qualities. One of the officers is trying to separate them, but Cassio grabs his sword and injures the hapless peacekeeper. Iago with the help of Rodrigo raises the alarm. Beats the alarm. Appearing, Othello finds out from the "honest Iago" the details of the fight, states that Iago is barring his friend Cassio out of kindness, and removes the lieutenant from his post. Cassio sobered up and burns with shame. Iago "from a loving heart" gives him advice: seek reconciliation with Othello through his wife, because she is so generous. Cassio gratefully leaves. He does not remember who gave him a drink, provoked a fight and slandered before his comrades. Iago is thrilled - now Desdemona, asking for Cassio herself, will help to denigrate her good name, and he will destroy all his enemies using their best qualities. One of the officers is trying to separate them, but Cassio grabs his sword and injures the hapless peacekeeper. Iago with the help of Rodrigo raises the alarm. Beats the alarm. Appearing, Othello finds out from the "honest Iago" the details of the fight, states that Iago is barring his friend Cassio out of kindness, and removes the lieutenant from his post. Cassio sobered up and burns with shame. Iago "from a loving heart" gives him advice: seek reconciliation with Othello through his wife, because she is so generous. Cassio gratefully leaves. He does not remember who gave him a drink, provoked a fight and slandered before his comrades. Iago is thrilled - now Desdemona, asking for Cassio herself, will help to denigrate her good name, and he will destroy all his enemies using their best qualities. Iago with the help of Rodrigo raises the alarm. Beats the alarm. Appearing, Othello finds out from the "honest Iago" the details of the fight, states that Iago is barring his friend Cassio out of kindness, and removes the lieutenant from his post. Cassio sobered up and burns with shame. Iago "from a loving heart" gives him advice: seek reconciliation with Othello through his wife, because she is so generous. Cassio gratefully leaves. He does not remember who gave him a drink, provoked a fight and slandered before his comrades. Iago is thrilled - now Desdemona, asking for Cassio herself, will help to denigrate her good name, and he will destroy all his enemies using their best qualities. Iago with the help of Rodrigo raises the alarm. Beats the alarm. Appearing, Othello finds out from the "honest Iago" the details of the fight, states that Iago is barring his friend Cassio out of kindness, and removes the lieutenant from his post. Cassio sobered up and burns with shame. Iago "from a loving heart" gives him advice: seek reconciliation with Othello through his wife, because she is so generous. Cassio gratefully leaves. He does not remember who gave him a drink, provoked a fight and slandered before his comrades. Iago is thrilled - now Desdemona, asking for Cassio herself, will help to denigrate her good name, and he will destroy all his enemies using their best qualities. Cassio sobered up and burns with shame. Iago "from a loving heart" gives him advice: seek reconciliation with Othello through his wife, because she is so generous. Cassio gratefully leaves. He does not remember who gave him a drink, provoked a fight and slandered before his comrades. Iago is thrilled - now Desdemona, asking for Cassio herself, will help to denigrate her good name, and he will destroy all his enemies using their best qualities. Cassio sobered up and burns with shame. Iago "from a loving heart" gives him advice: seek reconciliation with Othello through his wife, because she is so generous. Cassio gratefully leaves. He does not remember who gave him a drink, provoked a fight and slandered before his comrades. Iago is thrilled - now Desdemona, asking for Cassio herself, will help to denigrate her good name, and he will destroy all his enemies using their best qualities.

Desdemona promises Cassio his intercession. They are both touched by the kindness of Iago, who is so sincerely experiencing someone else's misfortune. Meanwhile, the "good man" has already begun to slowly pour poison into the ears of generals. At first, Othello does not even understand why he is persuaded not to be jealous, then he begins to doubt and, finally, asks Iago ("This little crystal honesty ...") to follow Desdemona. He is upset, the wife who comes in decides that the cause is fatigue and headache. She tries to tie the head of the Moor with a handkerchief, but he moves away, and the handkerchief falls to the ground. He is raised by Desdemona's companion Emilia. She wants to please her husband - he had long asked her to steal a handkerchief, a heirloom, passed to Othello from her mother and given to him by Desdemona on her wedding day. Iago praises his wife, but does not tell her why he needed a scarf, only tells him to keep quiet.

Tormented by jealousy, the Moor cannot believe in the betrayal of his beloved wife, but is no longer able to get rid of his suspicions. He demands from Iago direct evidence of his misfortune and threatens him with a terrible retribution for slander. Iago pretends to be offended by honesty, but «out of friendship» he is ready to provide indirect evidence: he himself heard how in a dream Cassio talked about his intimacy with the general’s wife, he saw how he wiped himself with Desdemona’s handkerchief, yes, with that handkerchief. Trusting Moor is enough. He brings a vow of vengeance on his knees. Iago also drops to his knees. He vows to help the offended Othello. The general gives him three days to kill Cassio. Iago agrees, but hypocritically asks to spare Desdemona. Othello appoints him his lieutenant.

Desdemona again asks her husband to forgive Cassio, but he does not listen to anything and demands to show a gift scarf that has magical properties to preserve the beauty of the owner and the love of her chosen one. Realizing that his wife does not have a scarf, he leaves in a rage.

Cassio finds a scarf with a beautiful pattern at home and gives it to his girlfriend Bianca so that she will copy the embroidery until the owner is found.

Iago, pretending to calm Othello, manages to bring the Moor to a swoon. He then persuades the general to hide and watch his conversation with Cassio. They will speak, of course, about Desdemona. In fact, he asks the young man about Bianca. Cassio laughs about this windy girl, while Othello, in his hiding place, does not hear half the words and is sure that they are laughing at him and his wife. Unfortunately, Bianka herself appears and throws a precious scarf in the face of her lover, because this is probably a gift of some whore! Cassio runs away to calm the jealous pretty lady, and Iago continues to inflame the feelings of the fooled Moor. He advises strangling the unfaithful in bed. Othello agrees. Suddenly an envoy of the senate arrives. This is a relative of Desdemona Lodovico. He brought an order: the general is recalled from Cyprus, he must transfer power to Cassio. Desdemona cannot hold back the joys. But Othello understands her in his own way. He insults his wife and strikes her. Surrounding are amazed.

In a face-to-face conversation, Desdemona swears to her husband his innocence, but he only makes sure of her deceit. Othello is beside himself with grief. After dinner in honor of Lodovico, he goes to spend an honored guest. The wife of the Moor orders to let Emilia go and go to bed. That is glad - the husband seems to have become softer, but still Desdemona is tormented by an incomprehensible longing. She always remembers the sad song she heard in her childhood about willow and the unhappy girl who sang it before her death. Emilia is trying to calm the mistress with her simple worldly wisdom. She believes that it would be better if Desdemona did not meet in life with Othello. But she loves her husband and could not change him even for "all the treasures of the universe."

At the instigation of Iago, Rodrigo is trying to kill Cassio, returning at night from Bianchi. The carapace saves Cassio's life, he even injures Rodrigo, but Iago, having attacked from an ambush, manages to cripple Cassio and kill Rodrigo. People appear on the street, and Iago tries to direct suspicions to the devotee Bianca, who came running and wailing over Cassio, while he pronounces a lot of hypocritical maxims.


... Othello kisses the sleeping Desdemona. He knows that he will go crazy by killing his beloved, but does not see another way out. Desdemona wakes up. «Did you pray before going to bed, Desdemona?» The unfortunate is not able to either prove her innocence or convince her husband to take pity. He strangles Desdemona, and then, to reduce her torment, stabs with a dagger. Emilia, who ran in (she does not see the body of the hostess at first) informs the general of Cassio's wound. Mortally wounded Desdemona manages to shout to Emilia that she is dying innocently, but refuses to name the killer. Othello confesses to Emilia himself: Desdemona was killed for infidelity, cunning and deceit, and her husband, Emilia and friend of Othello, "faithful Iago", exposed her treason. Emilia calls people: «The Moor killed his wife!» She understood everything. In the presence of the officers who came in, as well as Iago himself, she exposes him and explains to Othello the story of the scarf. Othello in horror: «How does the sky endure? What an indescribable villain! »- and tries to stab Iago. But Iago kills his wife and runs away. Othello's despair has no limits, he calls himself a "low killer", and Desdemona "a girl with an unfortunate star." When the arrested Iago is introduced, Othello wounds him and, after an explanation with Cassio, stabs himself. Before his death, he said that "he was ... jealous, but in a storm of feelings fell into a rage ..." and "he lifted and threw away the pearl with his own hand." Everyone pays tribute to the courage of the general and the greatness of his soul. Cassio remains ruler of Cyprus. He was ordered to judge Iago and put to painful death. Othello hurts him and, after an explanation with Cassio, stabs himself. Before his death, he said that "he was ... jealous, but in a storm of feelings fell into a rage ..." and "he lifted and threw away the pearl with his own hand." Everyone pays tribute to the courage of the general and the greatness of his soul. Cassio remains ruler of Cyprus. He was ordered to judge Iago and put to painful death. Othello hurts him and, after an explanation with Cassio, stabs himself. Before his death, he said that "he was ... jealous, but in a storm of feelings fell into a rage ..." and "he lifted and threw away the pearl with his own hand." Everyone pays tribute to the courage of the general and the greatness of his soul. Cassio remains ruler of Cyprus. He was ordered to judge Iago and put to painful death.