Summary of Othello, Please

Hi, Friends:

I’m going to see a production of Othello on Saturday and would like a synopsis. Lest I be accused of cheating, I did read it back in college. I saw the movie version about 10 years ago and thought it most excellent. Anyway, I sat down the other night to re-read it. After 2 nights, I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t get myself to focus enough and it just wasn’t enjoyable. I do know the basic story, but I would be grateful if someone would run it by me again. Thanks!

Othello (scroll down to "synopsis.)

Wikipedia…it has summaries of EVERYTHING.

Excellent! Thanks for the amazingly quick responses! This thread can be closed.

It’s a version of the old story: boy meets girl, boy marries girl, boy kills girl, boy kills self.

Throw in a jealous employee and homosexual undertones (according to the Wiki article) and you have the makings of the next big drama on ABC.

For a really fun summary find the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s “Othello Rap”. It’s hilarious - and pretty accurate.

Wow, I never picked up on the gay subtext. This is what happens when the head of your high school English department is a very strict Catholic…

Pfft, you can read gay subtext into anything. It’s like some kind of new inkblot test.

I’ve always wondered: If Othello and Desdemona had had a daughter, would she be a demi-moor?

“Well Othello loved Desi like Adonis loved Venus, and Desi loved Othello cuz he had a big…sword.”


I recall a good deal of the subtext focusing on Othello and Iago’s relationship, as well as Othello and Cassio, but Shakespeare was like that. Check out Sebastian and Antonio in Twelfth Night, for example, and compare them to Shakespeare’s actual gay couple: Achilles and Patroclus in Troilus and Cressida.

In a phrase? It’s about a man who loved, not wisely, but too well.

I’ve always thought that was a rather scary thing for Othello to have said. It reminds me of abusers who claim to love their wives/girlfriends even while beating, raping or murdering them. Then again, perhaps it’s meant to be that frightening.