Lodovico, Desdemona's cousin, has just arrived from Venice with a letter for Othello. In almost comical folly, Desdemona goes to Iago for advice after this disturbing encounter with her husband. The presence of Lodovico as an emissary from Venice also reinforces how dramatically Othello has changed from the early scenes in Venice. Emilia, the more practical one, thinks that it is not too big a price for a small act; Desdemona is too good, and too devout, to say that she would do so. Iago believes that Cassio will be useless in war. Cassio, of course, laughs about how much the woman loves him, how desperate she is, and how easily beguiled she has been by his false intentions of marriage.
He implies Othello is devil-like, with his lust, indiscretion, and strangeness to Venice; the irony is that Iago is so quick to make others out to be evil, when it is he who is the center of blackness and foul deeds in the play. Act 4, Scene 1 Summary Othello and Iago discuss the straying handkerchief and the sins it might imply. Desdemona's fate is unfair and unearned, yet she is the martyr of the play, the tragic female heroine who ends up being sacrificed to satisfy the fates. Her character is parallel to that of Hamlet's Ophelia; both are good, virtuous, obedient, but both are subjected to tragic fates in spite of - or because of - their innocence. When Othello withdraws, Iago informs the audience of his actual intention.
Othello withdraws, too emotionally involved to understand that Iago is manipulating him, and Iago talks with Cassio about Bianca. Or did the letters work upon his blood, And new-create this fault? No, let me know; And knowing what I am, I know what she shall be. In vain, Desdemona tries to deflect his questions about the handkerchief, speaking again of Cassio. Just then, Desdemona enters with Lodovico, an envoy who is carrying orders from the Duke of Venice that Othello is to return to Venice and leave Cassio behind to govern Cyprus. He would rather have Roderigo stay so that he can continue to slowly steal all of his money. Iago wants to break up the couple, using Roderigo as his pawn. Murderous Revenge After this scene which Iago has orchestrated, Othello vows revenge on both Desdemona and Cassio.
Trick imagery enforces him as a Machiavellian villain. Such a story is Iago's insurance, in case Othello should later say something that Cassio finds strange. She feigns innocence about it to her Desdemona, and therefore her loyalty to her husband, Iago, for whatever reason may supersede her loyalty to her mistress. Suddenly Bianca herself appears on the scene. Scene 1 The dialogue between the musicians and the clown acts as comical relief during the beginning of the play.
Near the end of their conversation, Iago kneels to Othello, as to be worshipping Othello, showing Othello as the dominant mental power, however Iago manipulative brilliance cannot be paralleled by Othello, and thus it should be vice versa about who is kneeling. Again the agreement is made: Iago is to kill Cassio, and Othello is to kill Desdemona. That Desdemona refuses the offer, having no reason to seek it, dismays Othello who starts to weep. Iago has accomplished his mission of planting suspicions in Othello's mind. Lodovico brings news from the Duke in Venice: Othello has been called back to the city, and Cassio is to replace him as command in Cyprus.
As far as Roderigo knows, Iago is his friend, but Iago reveals his manipulative nature in this first scene. But, when Desdemona mentions Cassio, Othello becomes very angry and slaps her in front of everyone; she rushes off, very upset. When Othello strikes Desdemona, he illustrates the severity of his change. Lies, Lies, Lies As the scene opens, we see Othello and Iago walk onstage mid-conversation. Summary begins in the city of Venice, at night; is having a discussion with , who is bitter about being passed up for a military post. Othello recognizes the handkerchief, and all other considerations are forgotten. Desdemona mentions to Lodovico the falling out between Othello and Cassio, and how much she wants to heal it.
Iago promises to kill Cassio. Brabantio is unaware of the truth to his words. You are welcome, sir, to Cyprus. Iago says that he only serves Othello to further himself, and makes shows of his allegiance only for his own gain; he is playing false, and admits that his nature is not at all what it seems. Iago takes a great risk with this maneuver, as he has no way of controlling completely what Cassio might say or how much Othello actually overhears.
Though Othello is constantly confronted by stereotypes, he manages to evade them through his nobility and individuality. Iago explains that he's just having a fit—totally normal—in fact, the second one since yesterday. We say lie on her, when they belie her. Othello, regaining consciousness, talks of himself as one among many cuckolds, but Iago tells him to hide and observe Cassio, who is returning. He had forgotten about the handkerchief until Iago graciously reminded him.