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The 60 Second Times
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Killed by jealousy
Venetian General murders new wife
Tragic young wife Desdemona "Heaven keep that monster from Othello's mind!" Desdemona (above), Act III, Sc IV

Venice and Cyprus are in mourning today after loosing both their brave general Othello and his wife Desdemona in a terrible domestic incident.

Othello believed that Desdemona was cheating on him with his trusted Lieutenant Michael Cassio. Deranged with jealousy, the tragic Moor murdered his young wife by smothering her with a pillow. Learning of her innocence after she was dead then drove Othello to fatally stab himself.

It soon came out that the Moor's suspicions of his wife were down to spiteful lies spread about her by his ensign, Iago. Bitter at being passed over for promotion in favour of Cassio, Iago poisoned Othello's mind against his rival.

Iago persuaded him that Cassio was a drunkard who was having a secret affair with Desdemona. In fact Desdemona, who had married Othello against her father's wishes, was just Cassio's friend.

One trick Iago used to fool Othello was hiding a handkerchief he had given Desdemona in Cassio's room. Othello, a war hero who had saved Cyprus from Turkish attack, hit the roof when he saw it.

This was a tragic turning point which led to Desdemona's end. Othello killed the blameless beauty when she wouldn't confess to cheating. Yet even as she died, Iago's wife Emilia revealed her husband's treachery, driving Othello to join his beloved in death.

Othello Othello
A brave, honourable soldier with a good record, Othello loved Desdemona more than anything. Highly passionate, he wasn't able to control his jealousy in the face of Iago's lies.
Iago Iago
Othello's ensign, Iago knew how to keep up the appearance of honesty. But he was really a bitter, self-serving, lying thieving cheat. He now faces heavy punishment for his crimes.
Cassio Michael Cassio
Well-read but inexperienced soldier Cassio was very concerned about his reputation. Knowing he couldn't take his drink, Iago tricked him into a drunken brawl that led to his demotion.
Desdemona Desdemona
A sparky young beauty, intelligent and faithful, Desdemona had eloped with Othello against her father's wishes. Deeply in love, she remained loyal to Othello despite his cruel treatment of her at the end.
"O, beware, my lord, of jealousy!
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on."

Iago, Act III, Sc III

"O! thereby hangs a tale."
Clown, Act III Sc I

"Murder's out of tune,
And sweet revenge grows harsh."

Othello, Act V, Sc II

"Put out the light, and then put out the light."
Othello, Act V, Sc II

"He that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him
And makes me poor indeed.

Cassio, Act III, Sc III

"Then must you speak
Of one that lov'd not wisely but too well."

Othello, Act V, sc II


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