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Video:Shakespeare: Othello Overview

with Becky Beth Benedict

"Othello" is one of William Shakespeares most popular tragedies. Get a quick overview of the major characters and plot points in "Othello" in this video from About.com.See Transcript

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Transcript:Shakespeare: Othello Overview

Hi! I'm Becky Beth Benedict and I'm here for About.com. Today, we're going to talk about an overview of Othello by William Shakespeare.

Setting the Plot for Othello

Iago is angered that Othello, an Army General, chose Cassio to be his lieutenant rather than Iago. Iago masterminds a plot of revenge by getting Cassio intoxicated and then has Roderigo provoke a street fight with Cassio. Othello is appalled at Cassio's behavior and revokes his promotion.

From there Iago suggests that Cassio convince Desdemona, Othello's new bride, to argue his case with Othello to get Cassio's rank back. Meanwhile Iago plants in Othello's mind the idea that Desdemona has been unfaithful with Cassio.

Iago Convinces Othello the Desdemona is Unfaithful

Iago sneaks into Cassio's room, leaving a handkerchief belonging to Desdemona, obtained by her chambermaid, Emila, who is also Iago's wife. When Othello finds out that Cassio has the handkerchief that was Othello's first gift to Desdemona he feels he has proof of the infidelity. The jealousy created drives Othello mad, who secures Iago, now his lieutenant, to aid him in killing the suspected lovers. Othello accuses Desdemona of cheating on him while Desdemona and Emilia both protest her innocence.

Othello's Tragic Ending

Rodergio, under Iago's direction, attempts to kill Cassio. The event does not go as planned and Iago end ups killing Roderigo and wounding Cassio. Emila runs to tell Othello what has happened. Before Emilia arrives Othello awakens Desdemona, who continues to plead her innocence to no avail as Othello smothers her to death while she declares her love for him. Emelia arrives and fills Othello in on the missing information, as he now realizes his grave mistake. Iago arrives to kill his own wife. Othello kills himself and Iago is taken away for execution.

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