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OTHELLO Act Five ACT FIVE SCENE I: KEY POINTS Iago and Roderigo wait in the street to ambush Cassio. When Cassio appears Roderigo attacks him, but is himself badly ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Othello

  • Act Five

  • Iago and Roderigo wait in the street to ambush
  • When Cassio appears Roderigo attacks him, but is
    himself badly wounded.
  • Lodovico and Gratiano are alerted to the scene.
  • Iago arrives shortly afterwards and discreetly
    stabs Roderigo in order to finish him off.
  • He also looks to blame Bianca for the brawl.

  • Othello as a soldier
  • There is a sharp contrast between the Othello of
    this scene and the Othello of Act 2 Scene 3.
  • In the earlier scene Othello came across as a
    military commander. His greatest concern was for
    order and civility in the town.
  • His response to the earlier fight between Cassio
    and Roderigo was stern and immediate.
  • Now, however, he seems uninterested in
    maintaining law and order in the city. He gives
    no response at all to the chaos unfolding nearby
    and is instead focused on the affair.
  • His own jealousy has overshadowed his sense of
    public duty as a soldier.
  • Othello

  • Roderigo acknowledges the strength of Iagos
    persuasion and shows us the great influence Iago
    holds over others.
  • Iago convinces Lodovico and Gratiano that Bianca
    is somehow involved in co-ordinating the attack.
    He had not anticipated her arrival but instantly
    finds a use for her in his web of lies.
  • Othellos brief appearance in this scene
    highlights Iagos extreme sway over others.
  • Othello has fallen so hard for Iagos lies that
    he is convinced the affair is real and ignores
    Cassios plight.
  • In this scene Iago sets into motion a wave of
    chaos and exploits it perfectly. He gives a
    brilliant display of his ability to steer a
    highly changeable situation to his own advantage.
  • He is uncertain how the fight he has instigated
    will work out but is confident he can use its
    outcome to his advantage.
  • When help arrives he deliberately adds to the
    confusion as the characters attempt to identify
    each other in the darkness.
  • He exploits this chaos to slip away and murder
  • He also exploits Biancas arrival, deflecting
    attention away from himself by blaming her for
    the attack
  • Iago makes great use of his theatrical abilities
    in this scene, shifting effortlessly between the
    role of general with Roderigo, innocent bystander
    with Lodovico, protector with Cassio and
    prosecutor with Bianca.
  • Lodovico and Gratiano buy into Iagos act of
  • He convincingly feigns brotherly concern for
    Iago, binding his wound and calling frantically
    for help. His cold blooded instinct is clear as
    he easily pretends to be Cassios protector
    though he plotted his murder and stabbed him.

  • Othello enters Desdemonas room, determined to
    kill her. He behaves in a calm and composed way
    convinced that her death is justice being done.
  • When Desdemona wakes Othello tells her to pray,
    that she is about to die and there is nothing she
    can to so to prevent this.
  • When Desdemona hears that Cassio has been killed
    and realises her protests are futile she begs to
    be allowed to live.
  • Othello is incapable of believing her and
    smothers her with a pillow.
  • Just as he is doing this Emilia approaches the
    room crying out that a murder has taken place.
  • Othello eventually lets her in and she tells him
    Cassio has killed Roderigo.
  • Desdemona manages to speak one more time before
    dying and when Othello admits responsibility for
    her death, Emilia starts to scream murder.

  • Emilias cries bring Iago, Gratiano and Montano
  • Emilia confronts her husband about his deception,
    calling him a liar and a villain. She reveals the
    truth about how the handkerchief ended up with
  • Iago stabs her and runs off. Emilia dies beside
  • Othello realises, too late, that Desdemona was
    never unfaithful to him. He is overcome with
    guilt and despair.
  • Iago is captured and partly confesses his crimes
    but refuses to say anymore. However, letters
    found on Roderigo reveal much about his various
  • Lodovico decides Iago will be imprisoned and
    tortured Cassio will be the new governor of
    Cyprus and Othello will be stripped of his
    command and taken into custody.
  • However, after a final moving speech, Othello
    stabs himself and dies while kissing Desdemonas

  • Emilias loyalty to Desdemona is clearly shown in
    this scene. She expresses genuine grief when she
    sees her dead body.
  • In her grief and anger she defies Othello
    himself. Othellos threats are meaningless to her
    and she has no fear of him. She is determined to
    reveal what Othello has done.
  • She is also determined to expose Iago as a
    villain and perseveres bravely, defying societys
    norms again and again by speaking out against her
    husbands wishes .
  • Emilia pays with her life for this crusade but
    she dies having achieved justice for her friend.
    Othello has been exposed as her killer and Iago
    as a master schemer who has deceived them all.

  • Iagos malicious nature is very evident in this
  • He is unrepentant about what he has done, utterly
    lacking in remorse and empathy.
  • He argues he only told Othello what he already
    believed or was ready to believe.
  • His malicious streak is also clear when Emilia
    starts to expose him. He threatens her and
    insults her again and again, urging her to shut
    up and commanding her to leave.
  • He finally kills her. Whereas Roderigos death
    was out of strategy, Emilias is purely out of
  • By the time he stabs her she has already revealed
    his deception. Murdering her cannot benefit him.
    It only invites greater punishment from those
    around him but he does it anyway.
  • Iagos destructive nature is also clear at the
    end when Othello demands to know what motivated
    him. Othello is desperate to know but Iago will
    say no more.
  • He has destroyed Othellos life but wont give
    him the satisfaction of saying why.

  • Othello
  • His love for Desdemona
  • Othello thinks Desdemonas actions with Cassio
    have made her a whore and that she must die.
  • However, the Moor still recognises Desdemonas
    beauty and when he is with her struggles with his
    feelings for her.
  • The moment she is dead he realises what a heinous
    act he has committed but his true remorse only
    comes when it is made clear that Iago has been
    deceiving him and that his wife was always
  • There is no way he can live with the monstrous
    deed he has committed and so ends his life,
    saying that he loved not wisely, but too well
  • Dignified and Proud
  • Othello is very calm when he enters the room, he
    is no longer unsure of himself.
  • He has decided she deserves to die and sees the
    act as one of justice rather than revenge.
  • Even when Desdemona awakes he doesnt allow
    feelings of love or hate to influence his
  • However the moment that he thinks of Cassio and
    Desdemona making love he immediately loses his
  • All his rage and frustration resurfaces and he
    begins to smother her.

  • Desdemona

As we observed in recent scenes, Desdemona is
meekly tolerant of her husbands unnatural
behaviour. When she realises he has come to kill
her she makes some effort to defend herself and
convince him he has no reason to doubt her, but
her efforts are meek and achieve nothing. It is
almost as if she has accepted her fate, even
though she can see no reason for having to die.
Perhaps there was nothing she could have done to
save her life but she does not even scream or
fight. Her behaviour contrasts with Emilia who is
not shy about challenging Othello and screaming
murder once she realises what he has done.
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