Othello - Five Act Structure

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Othello Lesson Plans

The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice Teacher Guide

Lesson Plans by Rebecca Ray

If you haven't read The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice by William Shakespeare yet, you are in for a crazy soap opera of lies and suspicion! In Othello, racism, jealousy, and prejudice all culminate with sorrow and murder. Captivate your students and keep them on track with this tricky plot!

Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice, The

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Othello Summary - Plot Diagram

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  • The play takes place in Venice. The Moorish General, Othello, secretly marries a nobleman's daughter, Desdemona.
  • Othello and Desdemona are attempting to build a life together. However, their relationship is sabotaged by the envious friend, Iago, who convinces Othello that Desdemona is unfaithful to him.
  • Othello is sent to defend the Island of Cyprus from Turkish Invaders. Iago tells the audience his plan to split up Desdemona and Othello. Part of the plan includes getting Cassio, a lieutenant, fired from his position.
  • Iago plants a handkerchief of Desdemona’s in Cassio’s room to make it appear that the two have been together. Othello finally believes Iago, and vows that he will not stop until he has his revenge.
  • Othello smothers Desdemona with a pillow, and Iago attempts to kill Cassio. However, Emilia, Iago's wife, exposes his plan.
  • Othello kills himself and Iago is taken away to be tortured. The audience is left with disbelief and despair, but some satisfaction that Iago is found out.
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