Iago was definitely the catalyst for Desdemona's death and Othello's jealous rages; but the seeds of jealousy and suspicion were already inherent in Othello, and only had to be coaxed forth. Here, again, Iago addresses the audience directly about his intentions and actions; Iago is only truly honest with the audience, and hides something from each of the players. Although his beautiful language and his remorse make him seem noble again, Othello still denies the character flaws that have led him to this end. Still, even after the murder is exposed, Othello cannot let go of the idea that Desdemona really did cheat on him; but his fixation on the handkerchief is ended when Emilia reveals how the token was used to make him believe in the affair. Iago enters, pretending that he knows nothing of the scuffle; Gratiano and Lodovico also stumble upon the scene, having no idea what has happened. Copyright © 1999 - 2020 GradeSaver LLC. However, Desdemona's goodness is a beacon in the play, and must remain unsullied - even beyond reason - if the full gravity of the play is to be achieved. After a few moments, Iago leaves the scene, even though Roderigo asks him to stay close in case something goes wrong with the ambush. Iago continues his insinuations when speaking to Othello; he provides more "proofs" that are anything but, though Othello has calmed, and seems more troubled and less angry. Desdemona is asleep on her bed. Othello Act 5 Summary Roderigo and Iago meet Cassio in the street at night. Othello enters Desdemona's room while she is asleep; and though she is beautiful, and appears innocent, he is determined to kill her. Act Five, Scene Two of William Shakespeare's "Othello" can be broken down into two parts. Othello Act 5 Summary Late one evening, in their bedroom, a furious Othello confronts Desdemona about her infidelity, brandishing the fake evidence that Iago planted earlier. If this is so, it certainly does not sit well with her line, "falsely, falsely murdered," which seems to refer both to Desdemona's death, and to Emilia's mention of the death of Roderigo and wounding of Cassio (V.ii.116). The Question and Answer section for Othello is a great Othello enters Desdemona's room while she is asleep; and though she is beautiful, and appears innocent, he is determined to kill her. He ponders upon her beauty and kisses her. Scene ii: Othello tries to get Emilia to tell him what he is now convinced of; that Desdemona is cheating. Othello has always been concerned with his reputation and public image; this was one of his justifications for killing Desdemona. Still, Othello is uniquely human, like Hamlet; his flaws and follies make him a compelling tragic figure, and his more noble aspects make him sympathetic. Othello thinks of killing her finally so that she doesn’t trap more men. GradeSaver, 29 September 2014 Web. Will Iago win? Modern interpretations of Desdemona may find fault with her resignation, but here she is a tool of tragedy. He juxtaposes heaven and hell to explain his despair, and the virtue he knows again that Desdemona did possess. This page contains the original text of Othello Act 5, Scene 1.Shakespeare’s original Othello text is extremely long, so we’ve split the text into one Scene per page. Although the plot is brought to its conclusion in this last scene, there are still questions and issues to consider, especially in Othello's last speech. He justifies this with images, metaphors, and ideas of her rebirth after death, and though his rage is softened, he is still much mistaken about her. "Roast me in sulfur! Iago is taken into custody, and his crimes will be judged back in Venice. Taking into account her resigned behavior before her death, she might be trying to absolve her husband of blame with her last breath, or trying to express her love for the one who has killed her. Othello - Act 5, Scene 1 Summary & Analysis William Shakespeare This Study Guide consists of approximately 158 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Othello. This creates an undercurrent of dramatic irony throughout the play, since the audience knows all of his plans, and individual characters know nothing, like Othello, or only a small portion of it, like Roderigo. Othello is trying, even after swearing that Desdemona was unfaithful, not to condemn her too harshly. Emilia brings the news of Roderigo's death, and Cassio's wounding. Here, Iago again proves himself a consummate actor. Emilia informs Othello that Cassio has killed Roderigo. Find somewhere else to come down. Summary. This lesson provides a summary of Act 5, Scene 2 of Shakespeare's 'Othello', which includes the murder of Desdemona, and the whole plot at last revealed to all. Othello's reaction after smothering Desdemona shows an even greater rift between his resolve and his emotion. Iago sends her to deliver the news to Othello and Desdemona. Desdemona might be a more central figure, but Emilia is the play's conscience; she makes Othello finally feel remorse for his act, and undoes some of the damage that Iago's allegations wrought, which not even Desdemona was able to allay. 21). At last, Othello's grief comes to its fruition, as his reason and speech are finally fully restored. After a few minutes, Iago leaves the scene, despite the fact that Roderigo asks him to remain close in case something fails with the ambush. The first is between Othello and Desdemona, in which Othello smothers and kills his wife. In the last act Othello was trying to act as Desdemona's defender, and... Iago basically belittles women as deceivers and fickle to fidelity. His last speech reveals that he is still fixated on this cause; "speak of me as I am," he tells them, yet there is great irony in this statement, since he goes on to misrepresent himself and his motives. But Othello takes Desdemona's cries for mercy, and her remorse at Cassio's misfortune, as proof of her indiscretion; although his rage is tempered, he is still set on having her dead. Othello says he will not ‘shed her blood’ but ‘she must die, else she’ll betray more men’. In Othello, the Harsh satire takes the form of dramatic irony. Here, Desdemona learns too late of the trap that was set for her with the handkerchief; this symbol of her love has come back to condemn her, just as all her protestations of her love and devotion for Othello do not soften his resolve to kill her. Othello is not convinced of his folly until Iago confesses his part, and Cassio speaks of the use of the handkerchief; then, Othello is overcome with grief. Lodovico and Gratiano hear Cassio's cry for help, but are afraid of what might happen to them if they go to him. Othello asks if Cassio has been killed as well, and Emilia informs him that Cassio is alive. He tells her to pray because ‘I would not kill thy unprepared spirit’ and urges her to confess that she gave the handkerchief to Cassio. Not affiliated with Harvard College. He kisses her and she wakes up. Iago's tendency to disclose himself to the audience gives him a connection to the audience that Othello does not have; although Othello is the title character of the play, Iago has more lines and more interaction with the audience. Act 5, Scene 1. Watch our summary of Othello: Act V to find out what happens. She is the sole voice of reason in the play, the only person besides Desdemona who is uncorrupted by Iago's manipulations. Chapter Summary for William Shakespeare's Othello, act 5 scene 2 summary. I made up an excuse for your trance when Cassio came. The audience is aware of Desdemona’s innocence and Iago’s manipulation but Othello does not. Iago and Roderigo wait in a darkened street for Cassio to come. Othello laments, the images of pain and torment reflecting the feelings which are coming over him (V.ii.278-279). He hath a daily beauty in his life That makes me ugly; and, besides, the Moor May unfold me to him; there stand I in much peril: Summary At night Iago and Roderigo await Cassio in order to kill him. Iago positions Roderigo with a rapier (a type of sword) in a place where he will be able to ambush Cassio. Desdemona lies asleep in bed, and Othello enters, dreadfully calm and sure in what he must do. He cries out in Othello, Act 5: Plot Summary. Emilia also comes in, and pins more blame on Bianca; she has done nothing, but Iago has some quick work to do if he is to exonerate himself in this mess. Othello draws the bed curtains and lets Emilia in. Desdemona wakens and calls him to bed, but he tells her to pray at once, repenting anything she needs to repent, and he will wait while she prays because he does not want to kill her soul. Act Shakespeare Summary 5 Othello. Iago appears, looking as if he has come from bed, and goes to Cassio. Othello's reaction upon Desdemona's death is a mixture of shock, hysterics, and anger. He is also grieved by this action; "methinks it should be now a huge eclipse of sun and moon," he says, referring back to the light/dark imagery of the play to communicate how unsettled and unhinged he feels (V.ii.97-98). Iago is many selves in this act; he is friend and advisor to Roderigo, then betrayer and murderer of Roderigo, consoler of Cassio, and the lead officer in this crisis. Summary: Act IV, scene ii. Desdemona awakens, and he tells her to repent of any sins before she dies; she believes there is nothing she can do to stop him from killing her, but continues to assert her innocence. He is talking with Iago about the handkerchief still, and its significance in being found; but, soon, Iago whips Othello into an even greater fury through mere insinuation, and Othello takes the bait. Othello stabs Iago when he is brought back in; Othello then tells all present to remember him how he is, and kills himself. Cassio becomes the temporary leader of the troops at Cyprus, and Lodovico and Gratiano are to carry the news of the tragedy back to Venice. To link to this Othello Act V Summary page, copy the following code to your site: Scene i: At Iago's insistence, Roderigo attacks Cassio, but he can't even get that right and Cassio wounds him. Othello, thinking that Cassio is dead, goes to kill Desdemona. I told Cassio to come back later and talk with me, At that time I'll get him to confess the details of his affair with Desdemona. Othello's farewell to Desdemona is a return to his former eloquence, though it is also a farewell to his own peace and his life. resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel. Othello study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Summary Act 4. Othello Act 5, Plot Summary Outside of a brothel, Iago and Roderigo wait. Othello Summary Act 5 Scene 1: Iago has taken Roderigo along to the lodgings of Cassio.He wants Cassio to die because this way he will rid of all the troubles he is likely to have if Cassio replaces Othello afterwards.. Othello tells her that he found her handkerchief with Cassio, though Desdemona insists it must not be true; she pleads with Othello not to kill her, but he begins to smother her. Iago sees this, and having little choice, wounds Cassio's leg from behind and runs away. Iago and Edmund: The Silence and Complexity of Evil, Inevitability and the Nature of Shakespeare's Tragedies, Witchy Women: Female Magic and Otherness in Western Literature. Othello interrogates Emilia about Desdemona’s behavior, but Emilia insists that Desdemona has done nothing suspicious. Summary Act 5. He falls onto the bed next to Desdemona and dies while giving her a final kiss. Emilia knocks, curious about what is going on; Othello lets her in, but tries to conceal Desdemona, who he thinks is already dead. Othello e-text contains the full text of Othello by William Shakespeare. Cassio seems to have been kept alive merely to testify about his part in this whole debacle; and Lodovico and Gratiano are conveniently there as witnesses of the Venetian state, with Montano representing the law and order of Cyprus. Our summary works through Act 2 scene-by-scene to guide you through the complex plot that drives Shakespeare’s Othello. Iago stabs Emilia for telling all about his plots, and then Emilia dies; the Venetian nobles reveal that Brabantio, Desdemona's father, is dead, and so cannot be grieved by this tragedy now. Joseph Ward May 31, 2014; Christine McKeever ed. Analysis. Roderigo is preparing to ambush Cassio. Othello falls into a trance of rage, and Iago decides to hammer home his false ideas about his wife. Othello's allusion to Prometheus explains his wish to put out Desdemona's light in order to restore her former innocence; even when the act of murder is drawing near, Othello seems intent upon dwelling in beautiful images and poetic metaphors to hide the ugliness and wrongness of his deed. Othello is so angry he threatens to kill her – will he really murder his own wife? All Acts are listed on the Othello text page, or linked to from the bottom of this page.. ACT 5. Othello's first remark is, "How shall we murder him, Iago?" J. N. Smith. Throughout act 5, the idea of deflowering is linked to death. He does not want to admit that Desdemona is dead; he speaks to her, ponders her stillness, and seems hysterical. He tries to slip off in the darkness, but Roderigo asks him to stay near, in case he needs any help killing Cassio. About “Othello Act 5 Scene 1” Iago prepares Roderigo to attack Cassio. Iago's actions are cowardly, sending Roderigo ahead of him and then attacking Cassio from behind. As Othello begins to realize that his plans have gone awry, Desdemona cries out that she has been murdered. Desdemona is shocked and upset by Othello… Though he believes Desdemona's soul to be black, he can only focus on her whiteness; he pledges not to mar "that whiter skin of hers than snow," although he is determined to take her life (V.ii.4). Othello Act 5, Plot Summary Beyond a whorehouse, Iago and Roderigo wait. When Emilia returns with Desdemona, Othello sends Emilia to guard the door. Othello Act V Summary. Therefore, Act 5 Scene 2 ends in the murder of Desdemona and the harsh satire sets in further when Othello only discovers after what the audience had known all along. This last speech is filled with heroic language; he reduces his foul, treacherous murder to "[throwing] a pearl away richer than all his tribe," a beautiful metaphor (though laden with racist overtones) that hardly does justice to the brutality and cruelty of Othello's behavior (V.ii.346). Emilia then learns that Cassio is wounded and Roderigo is dead. Summary. Then Othello tells a story about a time when he once defeated and stabbed a Muslim Turk who had killed a Venetian, and as he describes the stabbing he takes out a hidden dagger and stabs himself. He also says he is one who "drops tears as fast as the Arabian trees their med'cinable gum"; however, Othello found it difficult to be sorry for killing his wife, until he found out that his motives were wrong (V.ii.341-350). Emilia knows, almost as well as her husband, how human nature works; she knows of husbands' jealousies, of how men believe women are less human, and that people are naturally prone to folly. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Othello by William Shakespeare. Roderigo calls out for help, and knowing that Roderigo could give him away, Iago kills him. Othello refers to the belief of the time, that to die with all one's sins repented of meant that the soul was saved for heaven; that he asks Desdemona if she has prayed, and urges her to do so if she hasn't, shows a strange kind of mercy. He uses misrepresentation to fill each of these roles as best he can, and not let the others know of his true plans and character. He says that he is "not easily jealous," although it is apparent from Iago's first insinuations that he is very jealous and possessive of his wife. Emilia soon finds out that Desdemona is nearly dead, by Othello's hand; Desdemona speaks her last words, and then Emilia pounces on Othello for committing this horrible crime. Othello tries to die with honor and some reputation intact; but his speech shows that his preoccupation with his image is still keeping him from the truth, as is his penchant for storytelling. Afterwards Iago arrives unseen and stabbes Cassio in the leg wounding him badly. Othello's professed admiration for Iago, coupled with his newly misogynistic and violent plans for Desdemona, contrast poignantly from his declarations of love in 1.3. Othello Summary Act V Scene I Iago has taken Roderigo along to the lodgings of Cassio. Emilia's fate is parallel to Desdemona's; although she was less naive than Desdemona, she too was betrayed by her husband. It is Othello's tragedy that is the focus of the play, but Iago succeeds in stealing the show; he is one of those peculiar villains, like Richard III, who is more compelling, complex, and sometimes more interesting than any of the more noble characters he deceives. Iago then manages to wound Cassio without being detected. Act 2 Scene 1 Montano the Governor of Cyprus and two gentlemen discuss the tempestuous weather which has defeated most of the Turkish fleet. "if Cassio do remain, He hath a daily beauty in his … This page contains the original text of Othello Act 5, Scene 2.Shakespeare’s original Othello text is extremely long, so we’ve split the text into one Scene per page. Roderigo and Cassio fight, and both are injured; Othello hears the scuffle, is pleased, and then leaves to finish off Desdemona. He wants Cassio to die because this way he will rid of all the troubles he is likely to have if Cassio replaces Othello afterwards. All Acts are listed on the Othello text page, or linked to from the bottom of this page.. ACT 5. She is unable to comprehend the intention of Othello so she pleads him. But though Othello has some sense again, he still wounds Iago; this act seems to be done as a distraction of his pain, and makes Othello's character seem even more deeply flawed. Othello, thinking that Cassio is dead, goes to kill Desdemona. This scene again brings up the theme of appearance vs. reality; for though Iago claims to know nothing of this battle, and be merely discovering it, he is the mastermind of the entire situation. Roderigo is still alive, so Iago feigns a quarrel, and finishes him off. Roderigo is preparing to ambush Cassio. It certainly makes the resolution of the play more neat to believe that Othello is returned to his nobility; but, since he still denies the deep wrong he has committed, and his own part in this dirty act, he cannot be fully redeemed or forgiven. Although Iago steals most of the spotlight during the play, in the end, the tragedy is Othello's; it is his pain, folly, and misfortune which reverberate, and make this drama so compelling and so telling of human nature. Roderigo tries to kill Cassio, but Cassio’s armor saves him. Othello tells Emilia to summon Desdemona, implying while Emilia is gone that she is a “bawd,” or female pimp (IV.ii. Despite feeling feint of heart, Roderigo resolves to kill Cassio if only for the sake of preventing Othello from leaving Cyprus right away with Desdemona in tow, which he assuredly will (to attend to his father-in-law’s funeral) if nothing is done to bring the affairs of state to the point of a crisis. Iago has given Roderigo a sword. We discuss the final act of Othello and how things fall apart. Iago has Roderigo poised and ready to pounce on Cassio, and kill him; if either of them is killed, it is to Iago's benefit, although he would like to have both of them disposed of, so that his devices might not be discovered. Bianca comes by, and sees Cassio wounded; Iago makes some remark to implicate her; Cassio is carried away, and Roderigo is already dead. Desdemona's last words are especially cryptic; when asked who killed her, she remarks, "nobody, I myself...Commend me to my kind lord" (V.ii.123). SCENE 1. "Othello Act V Summary and Analysis". And where before Othello felt only hatred and anger, now he is forced to feel his love, along with his determination to see Desdemona die. Othello-(14)-Act-5-Scene-1-2018. Starts in the middle of an argument between Roderigo and Iago Cassio cries for help, Lodovico and Gratiano come to his rescue, then Bianca. Act 5, Scenes 1–2 Summary and Analysis Last Updated on July 22 ... and leaves to tell Venice the story of Othello. Iago tries to control Emilia, commanding her as his wife to be silent. Of course, all threads are wrapped up in this last scene of the play; letters are produced that expose Iago's part in these unfortunate events, even though these letters have not been mentioned or shown earlier in the play. Wash me in steep-down gulfs of molten fire!" She says that her sin is that she loved him. Literature Network » William Shakespeare » Othello » Summary Act 4. Find a summary of this and each chapter of Othello! Othello insists that he is an "honorable murderer", but he is driven to kill out of his own shortcomings (V.ii.293). Bianca arrives and Iago tries to pin everything on her. Desdemona wakes up and asks him sweetly to which he answers that at last, she must repent for all her sins. SCENE 2. Othello once again misinterprets what has happened, though, to Iago's benefit. Othello essays are academic essays for citation. And he nearly succeeds. He then treats and talks to Desdemona as though she were a whore. Scene i: At Iago's insistence, Roderigo attacks Cassio, but he can't even get that right and Cassio wounds him. The following is a summary of part two. … … He justifies this with images, metaphors, and ideas of her rebirth after death, and though his rage is softened, he is still much mistaken about her. Iago calls Cassio in, while Othello hides; Iago speaks to Cassio of Bianca, but Othello, in his disturbed state, believes that Ca… The greatest irony of the play is that it is only after killing Desdemona that Othello learns the truth about her; he finds out that she was blameless, and that Iago was manipulating him into believing otherwise. Iago leaves Roderigo unoticed alone so he has to murder Cassio on his own but fails and is being stabbed himself. Iago sees this, and having little choice, wounds Cassio's leg from behind and runs away. Act 5 Scene 2. 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