theatrical play by William Shakespeare

The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare around 1603. It was first performed on 1 November 1604 at Whitehall Palace in London. More recently, Othello was shown on Masterpiece Theater on PBS. The opera Otello of Giuseppe Verdi is based on this play.

Poster, 1884



At the start of the play Othello, a Moorish general in the army, promotes Cassio to lieutenant. Iago, his ensign, is angry and jealous, so he plots against Cassio by making him look bad and making Othello uncertain about keeping him as his lieutenant. Some of the things he does are to get him drunk and to start a fight with someone else from the army. Iago also tells Othello that his wife, Desdemona, is cheating on him with Cassio. Cassio is demoted and Iago is promoted to lieutenant. Othello kills Desdemona and is then told by Iago's wife, Emilia, that Iago plotted against him. He goes after Iago, and injures him but does not kill him. Othello then kills himself next to his wife after saying sorry to Cassio for what he has done.

Characters of Othello

  • Othello
  • Iago
  • Roderigo
  • Montano
  • Cassio
  • Brabantio
  • Desdemona
  • Bianca
  • Emilia