When Villains Win Can you remember how you felt when the evil Scar kills the good Mufasa in The Lion King? Brabanzio orders his men to attack and subdue Othello. Cassio does as he's told. He is quite pleased at the distress and mayhem he is causing. Cassio: After boasting of his bad work in using insinuations to make Othello fall into a trance, Iago starts yelling at Othello to wake him up. This makes Cassio laugh even more, and it makes him say things about Bianca that are true enough about her, but which Othello is hearing as scornful insults to Desdemona.
Bianca comes in, and gives the handkerchief back to Cassio, since she swears she will have nothing to do with it. Iago kicks it up a notch here, though, resorting to all-out lies instead of just subtle suggestions. Othello then asks whether her honor could be given as freely, too. Confused, Desdemona makes a gesture of reconciliation only to be struck across her face. That she could have opinions and ideas independent of his own, especially about Cassio and his rightful place, also upset him. Othello is finally condemning his outsider status, even though it was a source of his pride and a defining theme of his rise to power. Lodovico cannot believe that the Othello he has just seen is the same self-controlled man he once knew.
Othello believes that Emilia is in on the deception; he accuses Desdemona, and her insistence that she is innocent only infuriates him further. Still amazed, Lodovico exclaims, , which Iago takes as an opportunity to suggest that Othello might do even worse things. Brabanzio begins to take what he hears seriously and decides to search for his daughter. Soon we find out exactly why! Othello will be driven mad, thinking that Cassio is joking with Iago about Desdemona. He won't chat with her about her offenses, as he's sure she'd be able to talk him out of her murder.
This is foreshadows her death. Then, speaking lower, so that Othello can't hear, he says to Cassio,. Just then, Desdemona enters with Lodovico, an envoy who is carrying orders from the Duke of Venice that Othello is to return to Venice and leave Cassio behind to govern Cyprus. Othello replies that , which probably describes how he is feeling--strange, non-human. He is beginning to become a stereotype by his own doing, as he falls farther and farther from himself. With Brabantio's call for light, there is a corresponding call for some kind of order; darkness vs. By and by, Othello conceals himself and observes Cassio boasting and laughing, unaware that the doting foolish woman of whom Cassio speaks is Bianca.
Othello then launches into a scathing condemnation of Desdemona; his tone is bitter and angry, although Desdemona cannot deduce what he is talking about. They'll even get the whole neighborhood involved. Just her mention of Cassio sends him into an unreasonable rage; every little thing he regards with suspicion, even if he has no cause. And so Othello is forced to think about the handkerchief. And so, cunningly, Iago gets Cassio to talk about Bianca where Othello can hear him. Othello believes that Desdemona's denial is a sign of her deep-seated betrayal; but it is really a function of her honesty, and she has committed no wrongs. Basically, they need him, even if they don't like him personally.
He craftily tells Cassio to go away before Othello wakes up, but instructs him to come back soon after. On the other hand, Desdemona is eager to talk about Cassio. A person like Othello could not have risen to such ranks in England at the time. Iago knows that Othello has been ordered back to Venice and Cassio has been made commander in Cyprus, so he knows the murders must be done immediately, or he will be found out. Bianca: When Bianca shows up, Iago has a bit of luck. He then tells Roderigo about Cassio being promoted by the Duke to take Othello's place as defender of Cyprus.
Then, he asks Iago to get him some poison, so he might kill her that very night. Othello, tricked by his own woman, feels he wears such horns. Contrary to his underhanded self-flattery, Iago seems to have no soul; he never repents, never lets up with his schemes, and never seems to tire of the damage he causes. To him, Othello's agony over the loss of his love is mere silliness. Lodovico arrives from Venice with orders from the duke and senators that Othello return to Venice and that Cassio be appointed in his place. She thinks that some villain has been pouring poison in Othello's ear; ironically it is her husband that is guilty of this crime.
Is it possible, Iago asks, that she just gave Cassio an innocent kiss? It is a paradox that Iago is supposed to be the persuader, though Othello seems, in instances such as this one, to be persuading himself, of things Iago has not even said. Take note, take note, O world, to be direct and honest is not safe. Of course Othello takes the meaning Iago wants him to take. When Desdemona hears the news that she will be leaving Cyprus, she expresses her happiness, whereupon Othello strikes her. Iago quiets him by making him believe that if he kills Cassio, then he will win Desdemona; Roderigo decides to go along with it, but Iago is coming dangerously close to being revealed. Emelia soon realizes, to her horror, the part she played in this tragedy in stealing that handerkerchief.