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English Literature

Plot

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In your coursework you should be aware of the basic story of Othello:

The story 1

The play opens with Roderigo, a rich gentleman, arguing with Iago, a soldier. Roderigo had been in love with Desdemona, the daughter of a senator, and asked her to marry him. However, he has just found out that she has secretly married Othello, a black army general. Iago is also angry - he serves Othello but has not been promoted by him. Instead, Othello promoted Cassio, a young soldier with no experience. Iago tells Roderigo to wake Desdemona's father, Brabantio, and they shout in the street, telling him about the secret marriage. Iago stays in the background, shouting insults but not saying who he is.

Iago says he is angry because of Cassio but he also suspects an affair between Othello and his wife. However, Iago hides his anger and pretends to be loyal and serve Othello, although we soon see that he is lying to him.

We learn that a Turkish fleet will attack Cyprus and Othello is sent to advise the senate. Brabantio arrives and accuses Othello of using witchcraft to seduce his daughter. However, Othello defends himself and is put in command of the army. He then leaves to sail to Cyprus and there is a terrible storm.

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