36 pages 1 hour read

William Shakespeare


Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 1604

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Act IIIChapter Summaries & Analyses

Scene 1 Summary

Emilia assures Cassio that Desdemona is speaking to Othello on his behalf, but Cassio is impatient and asks that he be allowed to make his case to Desdemona directly. Emilia agrees to arrange a meeting between the two of them.

Scene 2 Summary

Othello gives Iago letters for the ship captain to deliver to the Senate of Venice and asks him to rejoin him once his task is done.

Scene 3 Summary

Cassio makes his case to Emilia and Desdemona, who vows to convince Othello to reinstate him. Cassio leaves when Iago and Othello enter, and Iago remarks that he doesn’t like to see Cassio “steal away so guiltylike,/Seeing your coming” (42-43). Desdemona presses Othello to reinstate Cassio, and he agrees for her sake. Desdemona says that he has not truly done her a favor, because reinstating Cassio is for Othello’s own good.

When she leaves, Iago manipulates Othello into suspecting Cassio by pretending to be reluctant to air his own suspicions of Desdemona’s infidelity. Othello tries to cast away doubt, saying there is no point in jealousy without proof, and once proof is obtained there is also no point in jealousy, since there is no longer reason to love.