The scene opens with messages that Cyprus is about to be attacked by the Turks of the Ottoman Empire.
Into the midst of this excitement comes Brabantio to appeal to the Duke for justice at Othello's elopement
with Desdemona. He accuses the Moor of seducing his daughter through magical spells and drugs.
Othello defends himself in that it was merely his stories of the battlefield -- and of the strange people
whom he encountered -- which had won Desdemona to him.
Desdemona, upon being summoned, confirms Othello's innocence. Since Brabantio will not have her
back into his house, however, she is forced to follow Othello to Cyprus.
In the meantime, Iago hatches his plot to revenge himself on Othello, as well as to win Desdemona over
IAGO'S HATRED FOR OTHELLO
Iago provides us with absolutely no reason for his hatred of Othello.
He claims at one time that Othello has slept with his wife (Emilia) and that he will get his revenge "for
mere suspicion" -- in other words, he needs no real reason whatsoever.
Nevertheless, he gives no proof for this suspicion and in fact states that he himself doesn't really believe
it. Nevertheless, he still intends to get his revenge just at the idea of it.
A more understandable reason is that Othello has promoted Michael Cassio to be his 2nd in Charge even
though he is incompetent for the position.
Iago, on the other hand, has been promoted only to be Othello's Aide-de-Camp or Ancient -- i.e. his 3rd
in Command -- even though he believes he is more competent than Michael Cassio.
This, however, happens all the time in life and one has to live with it, not seek revenge every time it
happens -- otherwise one will live a life that is absolutely full of hatred.
Apart from that, Iago appears to be full of anger and resentment, and spends his life attempting to revenge
himself on someone or something. Ultimately, of course, he will come unstuck. It usually happens.
There is a psychological term for someone like Iago: One who believes he is the centre of the universe
whom everyone should love. Do you know what the term is?
Does Iago have any morals whatever? He appears to be a totally amoral person who will wreak havoc
for the mere enjoyment of it. There lurks in him an evil which is impossible to explain.
Have you looked at the questions
in the right column?