Othello Summary provides a quick review of the play's plot including every important action in the play. Othello Summary is divided by the five acts of the play and is an an ideal introduction before reading the original ****.
Shakespeare's famous play of love turned bad by unfounded jealousy, begins in Venice with Iago, a soldier under Othello's command arguing with Roderigo, a wealthy Venetian. Roderigo has paid Iago a considerable sum of money to spy on Othello for him, since he wishes to take Othello's girlfriend, Desdemona as his own. Roderigo fears that Iago has not been telling him enough about Desdemona and that this proves Iago's real loyalty is to Othello not him. Iago explains his hatred of Othello for choosing Cassio as his officer or lieutenant and not him as he expected. To regain Roderigo's trust, Iago and Roderigo inform Brabantio, Desdemona's father of her relationship with Othello, the "Moor" which enrages Brabantio into sending parties out at night to apprehend Othello for what must obviously be in Brabantio's eyes, an abuse of his daughter by Othello... Iago lies that Roderigo and not himself, was responsible for angering Brabantio against Othello, Iago telling Othello that he should watch out for Brabantio's men who are looking for him. Othello decides not to hide, since he believes his good **** will stand him in good stead. We learn that Othello has married Desdemona. Brabantio and Roderigo arrive, Brabantio accusing Othello of using magic on his daughter. Othello stops a fight before it can happen but Othello is called away to discuss a crisis in Cypress, much to the anger of Brabantio who wants justice for what he believes Othello has done to his fair Desdemona. The Duke is in council with several senators discussing their enemy, the Turks (Turkish people). Brabantio complains to the Duke that Othello bewitched his daughter and had intimate relations with her. Desdemona is brought in to settle the matter, Othello meanwhile explains how he and Desdemona fell in love. Desdemona confirms this and the Duke advises Brabantio that he would be better off accepting the marriage than complaining and changing nothing. The Duke orders Othello to Cypress to fight the Turks, with Desdemona to follow, accompanied by the trusted Iago. Roderigo despairs that his quest for Desdemona is over now that she is married, but Iago tells him not to give up and earn money instead; soon Desdemona will bore of Othello. Alone, Iago reveals his intention to continue using Roderigo for money and his hatred of Othello (Othello picked Cassio and not Iago for his lieutenant). Iago explains that his plan is avenge Othello is to suggest to Othello that Cassio is sleeping with Desdemona (Othello's wife).
Several weeks later in Cypress, Montano and several others are awaiting Othello's arrival by bark or ship. We learn that a terrible storm has largely battered and destroyed the Turkish fleet, which no longer poses a threat to Cypress. Unfortunately there are fears that this same storm drowned Othello as well.
Montano reveals his high praise of Othello, which is shared by many. Cassio, who has arrived, sings Desdemona's praises. A ship is spotted but it is Desdemona and Iago's not Othello's. Iago suspects that Cassio loves Desdemona and slyly uses it to his advantage.
Iago tells Roderigo that he still has a chance with Desdemona but Cassio whom Desdemona could love is in the way. Killing Cassio (who became Othello's lieutenant instead of Iago) will leave Desdemona to Roderigo, Iago slyly explains. Othello finally arrives to everyone's great relief. Iago decides to tell Othello that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona's so Iago will be rewarded whilst Cassio will be punished. A Herald announces celebration that "our noble general Othello!" has defeated the Turkish fleet, calling on all to celebrate this great triumph and also to celebrate Othello's "nuptial" or wedding to the fair Desdemona.
Iago learns more of Cassio's high regard for Desdemona and Iago manipulates Cassio into drinking too much since he is certain Cassio will do something he will regret. With Cassio gone, Iago tells Montano of Cassio's drinking problem turning Montano's high regard for Cassio into dust. Iago also tells Roderigo to attack Cassio. This happens, and Cassio wounds Roderigo and then Montano who was trying to break up the fight. Othello is now awake and Cassio's **** ruined. Othello though he loves Cassio, has no choice but to demote him from his position as his lieutenant. Next Iago comforts Cassio by suggesting he speak with Desdemona who could put in a good word for him with Othello.
Iago comforts a wounded Roderigo, telling him he has won by ruining Cassio's ****. Iago has his wife Emilia ensure Desdemona and Cassio will talk so Othello can see his wife talking with Cassio, allowing Iago to convince Othello that Desdemona is being unfaithful... Act III Cassio tells Iago that he has arranged to meet Desdemona, Iago helping Cassio to do this. Iago's wife, Emilia, tells Cassio that Othello would like to reinstate him as his lieutenant but the fact that Cassio's fight is public news, prevents Othello from doing this immediately.
Emilia tells Cassio that she can arrange a meeting with Desdemona. Some time later, Cassio speaks with a very sympathetic Desdemona who assures him that Othello still very much loves Cassio. Furthermore, Desdemona resolves to keep putting in a good word for Cassio until he is again Othello's lieutenant. At a distance, Iago manipulates Othello by first suggesting shock and then hiding his outbursts from Othello. This guarantees Othello's attention, as Iago plants seeds of doubt in Othello's mind about Desdemona's fidelity especially where Cassio is concerned. Iago leaves Othello almost convinced that his wife is having an affair with Cassio. Othello now complains of a headache to Desdemona, which results in her dropping a strawberry patterned handkerchief, Othello's first gift to her. Emilia picks this up gives it to Iago who decides the handkerchief could help his manipulation if he ensures Cassio receives it. Iago arranges to place the handkerchief near Cassio's lodgings or home where he is certain to find it and take it as his own, unaware that it is Othello's gift to Desdemona. A furious Othello returns to Iago, certain his wife is faithful and demanding proof from Iago of Desdemona's infidelity. Reluctantly and hesitantly, Iago tells Othello he saw Cassio wipe his brow with Desdemona's handkerchief. Othello is convinced, cursing his wife and telling Iago who is now promoted to lieutenant to kill Cassio. Othello will deal with Desdemona... Desdemona worries about her missing handkerchief and comments that if she lost it, it could lead Othello doubting her fidelity. Emilia when asked about Desdemona's lost handkerchief, lies, denying having seen the handkerchief she picked up and gave to Iago. Othello enters; asking Desdemona for the very same handkerchief and Desdemona assures him that the handkerchief is not lost and will be found. Desdemona now tries to change the subject to Cassio, but Othello continually stresses the value the handkerchief has to him, this leading to Othello angrily ordering his wife away. Cassio arrives, Desdemona telling him that her attempts to help him are not going well. Iago claims total ignorance to the cause of Othello's fury. Cassio gives Othello's handkerchief, which he found, to his suspicious mistress Bianca who reluctantly starts to copy its patterning (presumably its strawberry motif / design) for him. Act IV Iago fans the flames of Othello's distrust and fury with Desdemona's supposed "infidelity" by first suggesting Desdemona shared her bed with Cassio and then that her giving away the handkerchief is no big deal when Iago knows exactly how hurtful to Othello, giving away this sentimental gift is. Next Iago suggests to Othello that Cassio will "blab" or gloat to others about his conquest of Desdemona before telling Othello that Cassio boasted to him that he did indeed sleep with Desdemona.
Meeting later with Cassio, Iago cunningly talks to Cassio about Cassio's mistress Bianca, each smile and each gesture made by Cassio infuriating a hidden Othello who thinks Cassio is talking about sleeping with Desdemona (Othello's wife).
Next Bianca (Cassio's mistress) arrives, angrily giving back the handkerchief Cassio gave to her. This infuriates Othello since as Iago puts it, Cassio not only received Othello's handkerchief from his wife but then gave it away to his whore (Bianca) as if it were worthless. Othello decides to kill Desdemona by strangulation in her bed, Iago's idea. Iago pledges to kill Cassio.
Lodovico arrives, announcing that Othello is to return home and Cassio is to be the next Governor of Cypress. Desdemona's joy for Cassio enrages Othello, leaving Lodovico and Iago to wonder how much Othello seems to have changed and leaving poor Desdemona to wonder how she offended the man she truly loves... Othello questions Emilia as to whether Desdemona was unfaithful to him. Annoyed that Emilia's answers suggest nothing has happened between Desdemona and Cassio, Othello dismisses her comments as those of a simple woman. Othello meets Desdemona, Desdemona becoming increasingly upset with her husband's anger towards her, an anger she cannot understand. Othello eventually reveals to Desdemona that her infidelity is the source of his anger, Desdemona pleading her innocence on deaf ears. Emilia and Desdemona discuss Othello's strange behavior. Emilia is certain some evil fellow has twisted Othello to believe Desdemona has been unfaithful, not realizing that this evil man is her own husband Iago.
We learn that Iago has been pocketing Roderigo's gifts to Desdemona, which never reached her. Fearing Roderigo will learn this, Iago tells Roderigo that Cassio must die since Iago benefits if ever man dies. Lodovico tries to calm Othello down. Othello orders Desdemona to bed to await him later, an order Desdemona dutifully obeys out of love for Othello.
Emilia notices that Othello is much calmer now and tells Desdemona her bed has been made with her wedding sheets as requested. Desdemona asks to be buried in those same sheets should she die before Emilia, a hint of trouble ahead (Foreshadowing).
Emilia is barred from joining Desdemona in her bedchamber, angering her. Desdemona, depressed, recalls a song (The Willow Song) of a maid who was similarly abused by her husband and sings it. Desdemona and Emilia talk about infidelity. Desdemona would not be unfaithful to her husband (Othello) for all the world; the more cynical andworldly Emilia would for the right price... Act V Iago and Roderigo wait in a street to ambush Cassio. Iago tells Roderigo how to kill him. Iago does not care which ends up dead. Iago is worried that about Roderigo's increasing questioning of what happened to jewels that were given to him to pass on to Desdemona...
Roderigo attacks Cassio but Cassio wounds Roderigo instead. Iago from behind stabs Cassio, wounding him in the leg. Othello hearing Cassio's cries is pleased, announcing that he too will soon kill (Desdemona). Lodovico and Gratiano and Iago reappear, Iago claiming total innocence to Cassio's injuries even though he inflicted them. Seizing Roderigo, Iago stabs and wounds him "in revenge" for wounding his "friend" Cassio. Gratiano and Lodovico tend to Cassio's wound. Bianca, Cassio's mistress arrives, Iago cleverly laying suspicion for Cassio's injuries on his innocent mistress, making Iago less suspicious... Othello enters Desdemona's bedchamber (bedroom) trying to convince himself that he is killing her for her own good. He kisses his still asleep wife one last time. Desdemona awakens, but Othello will still kill her, telling her to pray so her soul will not die when she does. Desdemona again asks what wrong she has committed, Othello telling her that she gave Cassio his handkerchief, by which he means he thinks she had an affair with him. Desdemona pleads her innocence, telling Othello to bring Cassio over to prove she did not give away her handkerchief. Othello says he confessed and is dead, Desdemona's fear and surprise prompting Othello to believe she does care for him. Othello kills Desdemona. Emilia banging on the door outside cannot stop this. Later Emilia is let in, revealing Iago has killed Roderigo and Desdemona who was thought dead, murmurs her last breaths but loyally does not say Othello killed her. Othello tells Emilia he killed her and Emilia despite Iago's attempts to remove her reveals the truth about the handkerchief; she found it, and then gave it to Iago. Iago now in trouble, stabs his wife Emilia and escapes.
Emilia dies, singing the "Willow Song" before criticizing Othello for killing his loving wife. Lodovico, Montano, Cassio and the now captured prisoner Iago soon appear, Othello stabbing Iago but not killing him before having his sword removed. Lodovico is disappointed that Othello, a man so honorable has reverted to acting like a slave. Othello tries to argue that killing his wife was a noble action but it falls on deaf ears. Lodovico learns that Othello and Iago plotted Cassio's death. Lodovico reveals letters in the dead Roderigo's pocket proving Cassio was to be killed by Roderigo. Iago proudly confirms that Cassio did find the handkerchief in his bedchamber because Iago placed it there to be found. Othello, realizing what he has done, kills himself with a concealed weapon and lies himself on top of his wife. Cassio is placed in charge of Iago and Lodovico leaves to discuss this sad matter with others abroad
Othello Characters guide studies each character's role and motivation in this play. Duke of Venice: Introduced to us in Act I, Scene III, he sends Othello with his wife Desdemona to Cypress to thwart a suspected Turkish invasion there. The Duke hopes Othello's leadership of his Venetian forces will see the Venetian's triumphant. When Brabantio tries to have Othello punished for allegedly seducing his daughter Desdemona with witchcraft, the Duke displays his wisdom, learning the truth by allowing Brabantio, Othello and Desdemona to tell their sides of the story. He later wisely tells Brabantio to accept Othello and Desdemona's marriage, arguing Brabantio will gain a "son" in the process. Responsible for Cassio being made Governor of Cypress (replacing Othello), in Act IV, Scene I and for Othello being recalled from Cypress. Brabantio: Desdemona's father and a senator in Venice, he is initially outraged in Act I, Scene I when Iago and Roderigo unfairly report that his fair daughter has been seduced by Othello who must have been using "magic" to persuade her to be intimate with him. In Act I, Scene III, Brabantio tries to petition the Duke to punish Othello, but this fails when it is learned that Desdemona fell in love with Othello by her own free will. Told by the Duke to accept Othello and Desdemona's marriage, Brabantio resists, never liking Othello despite his reputation as a soldier, which is how Othello is readily accepted and respected by the Duke and others... Gratiano: Brother to Brabantio, we see little of him, except largely in Act V, Scene I, when he discovers with Lodovico, the wounded Cassio, thought to have been wounded by Roderigo when we later learn it was really Iago who stabbed him. Lodovico: Kinsman to Brabantio, and very active in Act V, Scenes I and II, he discovers the wounded Cassio along with Gratiano and is scolded with Gratiano by Iago for not doing more to help Cassio when both men are still unaware that Iago wounded Cassio, not Roderigo. In Act V, Scene II, Lodovico criticizes Othello for murdering his wife Desdemona and falling from grace to act like a common slave not the respected man he once was. Additionally, Lodovico plays an active role in the discovery process of Iago's treachery, by finding on the dead Roderigo a note indicating Cassio was to be killed, learning that Othello killed Desdemona, discovering Othello's and Iago's plot to kill Cassio and finally learning the sad story of how Othello's handkerchief was used by Iago to manipulate Othello into believing his wife was unfaithful which led to her death as well as Iago's wife, Emilia.
Responsible by nature, he seizes control of events in the final scene, taking Othello's sword from him after he wounds Iago and later places Cassio in charge of the evil Iago while he heads abroad to recount the sad events that have happened in Cypress. Othello: A noble "Moor", in the service of the Venetian State, Othello is introduced to us in the very first scene by the term "Moor", when Iago complains that Othello has made Cassio his lieutenant and not him. We also learn from Iago that Othello has a relationship with the fair Desdemona. Respected by the Duke of Venice, who is the first to address him by **** (Othello in Act I, Scene III) and who sends for him when Cypress is threatened by Turkish forces, Othello is continuously described by his critics (Brabantio, Iago) as a "Moor" a reference to his dark skinned appearance and a reference to the race of Muslim peoples of north-western Africa to which Othello belongs. Though made Governor of Cypress in Act I, Scene III, Othello's fortunes rapidly change for the worst as Iago succeeds in making Othello believe his loyal wife is having an affair with his lieutenant Cassio, a belief that leads to Othello killing his loyal, loving wife and later himself when he realizes that he was wrong and merely tricked by Iago. Tactful and wise, Othello does not fight Brabantio when he accuses him of bewitching his daughter in Act I. Instead he offers no resistance and speaks with Brabantio before the Duke where Othello with Desdemona's testimony, proves his marriage is one made of love not witchcraft. Polite and courteous, he addresses the Duke and company in Act I as "My very noble and approv'd good masters," (Act I, Scene III, Line 77). Nonetheless he allows the threat to his pride that Desdemona's infidelity would represent, to allow him to trust Iago on some very circumstantial evidence (Iago saying Cassio boasted of sleeping with Desdemona, Cassio having Desdemona's handkerchief and Cassio talking about a woman Othello does not realize is Bianca) which leads to his murdering his wife, to prevent her abusing other men when we really know it is to avenge his own pride. Ultimately Othello realizes this but too late after killing his loving and trusting wife. Othello does stab Iago in revenge but Iago lives, whilst Othello does not, committing suicide shortly after realizing he misplaced his trust in Iago when he should have trusted his wife. In addition to losing his life, Othello also loses his reputation in Act V, when Lodovico scolds Othello for acting like a common slave, when until recently he was so much more, a man well respected by the Duke of Venice amongst others. A tragic figure, Othello allowed his misplaced trust (in Iago's honesty) and his pride to undo all that he had... Cassio: Othello's friend, Cassio was made Othello's lieutenant rather than Iago who expected the appointment. Disrespectfully described by Iago as lacking real "battlefield" experience, Cassio is instead a schooled soldier, not one who learned his craft on the front-line as Iago has. Deeply admiring of Othello's wife Desdemona, it is this admiration that Iago uses to suggest he is having an affair with Desdemona, leading to her death and indirectly that of Emilia and Othello as well. Through the course of this tragedy, Cassio's fortunes change considerably. In Act I, he is Othello's loyal and trusted lieutenant. In Act II, he is Othello's loyal friend in Cypress and respectful admirer of Desdemona but in Act II, Scene III, is manipulated to fight Roderigo, hitting him and Montano, and consequently losing his position as Othello's "lieutenant". In Act III, Iago is Othello's remorseful friend who hopes Desdemona's good words will reinstate him, unaware that they merely implicate him in Iago's plan to make him look like Desdemona's lover and Cassio also reveals himself to be a neglectful boyfriend to his mistress Bianca. In Act IV, Cassio is manipulated into talking about his girlfriend Bianca, unaware that Othello, hiding nearby assumes his hand gestures are de******ions of Desdemona. Finally in Act V, Cassio first fights off an ambush by an Iago manipulated Roderigo, then is stabbed by Iago in the dark to later outlive Othello, Desdemona and Emilia and be placed in charge of the now exposed and captive Iago. Iago: Othello's ancient, a position below lieutenant. Perhaps Shakespeare's most evil figure, not for his treachery which is arguably surpassed by Macbeth (who kills his king in his sleep while staying at his castle as a trusting guest), but for the manner in which he effortlessly manipulates all those around him to do his bidding (kill Cassio, destroy Othello, discredit Desdemona's virtue) by taking advantage of their trust and using his victim's own motivations (Roderigo's desire for Desdemona, Cassio's desire to be reinstated) and weaknesses (Othello's pride, Cassio's impaired judgment whilst drunk), to achieve his ends. Though Iago does kill when he stabs and murders Roderigo, he created most of his devastation through the use of others who unwittingly follow their own agenda which Iago subverts to achieve a *** of events which succeeds in making Cassio first lose his position as Othello's lieutenant, then petition Desdemona to be reinstated which allows Iago to suggest Desdemona's adultery and later to motivate Roderigo to kill him (Cassio). Iago's character is complex, but in Act I, Scene I, where he describes his disgust at being overlooked for Othello's lieutenant, we can see that a primary motivation for Iago's skillful manipulations was revenge and anger; revenge for Cassio replacing him, anger that Othello overlooked him. Thus it can be seen that Iago's manipulations are driven by a basic desire to avenge those who hurt him but also to gain what he believes is his, indeed Iago's suggestion that Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair earns Iago Othello's trust and the position as his lieutenant in Act III, Scene III. However being made lieutenant only satisfies his pride, his continuing with his plan to discredit Desdemona shows us that it is not enough for Iago to have what he believes is his, he must punish Othello for overlooking him in the first place by making Othello disbelieve and destroy his virtuous wife... Iago is pragmatic. We see this in the manner in which he uses opportunity to aid his plan to hurt Cassio and Othello. When Iago realizes Cassio's admiration of Desdemona, he immediately formulates a plan to use this to make Othello suspect adultery.
Though Iago appears to have the goal of misery for Othello and Cassio, he does not appear to have a specific detailed plan, he continually refers to using insights he makes about Cassio, Othello, Roderigo and Desdemona to further his plan in his asides in the play. Iago's pragmatism is also evident in his use of Roderigo. He uses this well-healed (wealthy) Venetian for money by promising to forward gifts on to Desdemona he instead uses for his own ends.
However when Roderigo suspects this in Act V, he plots to have Roderigo kill Cassio since if Cassio wins, he still wins by having Roderigo eliminated. Ultimately this fails, so Iago kills Roderigo himself.
Cunning in the extreme, Iago nearly gets away with his plan; Othello does kill Desdemona, Iago is made lieutenant, but Cassio despite his attack in Act V, lives and he (Iago) is eventually caught and exposed.
If Iago has an Achilles heal, it was his wife Emilia, who despite threats and orders from Iago, revealed to all Iago's treachery by declaring Desdemona's innocence and explaining how she found Desdemona's handkerchief, passing it on to Iago... For this Iago shows his total ruthlessness by killing Emilia and escaping, only to be later caught. Though Iago appears to be managing everyone else's insecurities to his personal advantage, Iago does indeed have his own insecurities, lending credibility to his character since no man is immune from insecurity or indeed misjudgment. Iago shows his insecurity by his need to be made lieutenant, which reveals his own desire to reach a status he seems to need to be comfortable. Likewise, in Act II, Scene I, when Iago reveals that he suspects Othello is having an affair with his wife Emilia as a peripheral motivation for manipulating Othello, he again shows his insecurity, one which he uses in Othello against Desdemona. Iago's great misjudgment of course is of his own wife. She stands up to him to defend Desdemona despite all the risks it entails, unraveling Iago's *** of manipulation. At the end of the play, Iago differs from many of Shakespeare's villains in that he is left standing, if guarded; most villains in Shakespeare's plays tend to die at the hands of those they oppressed in a recurring theme of restoration of order. Iago by contrast does not die, we can only speculate that his future will be miserable... Roderigo: A wealthy Venetian gentleman, Roderigo pays Iago to keep him informed of Desdemona's activities since he hopes to one day marry her. Trusting of Iago, he nonetheless questions Iago repetitively on his loyalty to him in Act I, and later on what has happened to gifts given to him to pass on to Desdemona in Act V. Nonetheless he listens to Iago's calls not to give up when he learns of Desdemona's marriage, unaware he is being led on a fool's quest to simply finance Iago. Lured by Iago to fight Cassio twice (First in Act II, Scene III and later in Act V, Scene I), Roderigo is ultimately killed by Iago. Montano: Othello's predecessor in the Government of Cyprus, Montano deeply respects Othello. Nonetheless Montano is trusting and easily manipulated since he readily believes Iago's assertions that Cassio, Othello's "lieutenant" has a drinking problem. A victim of Roderigo and Cassio's first fight, he is wounded trying to break up the fight, a contributing factor to Othello demoting Cassio. Clown: Servant to Othello, he mocks the musicians, Cassio had arranged to play before the castle in an effort to appease Othello in Act III, Scene I.
The Clown mocks the Cyprian Musician's instruments, wondering aloud if they are "wind instruments?" (Line 6) before Cassio pays him relay a message to Emilia to come and talk to Cassio which she does, revealing Othello and Desdemona have discussed him, Othello wanting to reinstate Cassio as his lieutenant but being prevented by Cassio's infamy on Cypress from his fight with Roderigo. Desdemona: Daughter to Brabantio and wife to Othello, Desdemona is continuously distrusted by those who should love and trust her most. First in Act I, her father Brabantio refuses to believe she could love Othello without Othello using witchcraft.
Later Othello, her husband ignores her pleas of innocence to the accusation of infidelity by Othello. Loving and loyal right to the end, she refuses to tell Emilia that Othello killed her since she does not want her love to suffer even when he killed her... Well meaning, she helps Cassio by trying to speak of his demotion to Othello but this earns her Othello's wrath since he sees it as proof that she is having an affair with Cassio because she is concerned for his welfare. Naive to some extent, she finds it impossible to believe a woman could be unfaithful, Emilia contrasting with her belief that such people do exist since in the right circumstances she herself, would commit adultery. Emilia: Wife to Iago and not particularly loved by Iago, Emilia could be argued to be a major seed in Iago's downfall. Though introduced in Act II, Scene I (Lines 96-108) in less than respectful tones by Iago, Emilia is trusted as a friend by Desdemona. Nonetheless she is loyal to Iago, giving Desdemona's handkerchief to Iago instead of back to Desdemona. Emilia's greatest character development occurs in Act IV, Scene II, where she declares that she would be unfaithful in the right circumstances, revealing considerably less naivety than Desdemona who barely believes adulterous people exist.
As Desdemona's confidante, she ironically and unwittingly reveals the source of Othello's anger when she says that Othello has obviously been tricked into believing Desdemona would be unfaithful by an evil man (Iago but not ****d). In Act V, Scene II, Emilia reveals her true loyalties however by refusing to be dismissed by Iago when she reveals that she gave Iago Desdemona's handkerchief, a revelation that proves Desdemona was not unfaithful. For this, Emilia is stabbed by her husband, dying whilst singing the "Willow Song", a song told to her by Desdemona.. Bianca: Mistress to Cassio, Bianca plays a limited but significant role in this play. As Cassio's neglected girlfriend, she is given Desdemona's handkerchief to copy by Cassio, only later to return it angrily back to Cassio, which a hiding Othello takes as proof that Cassio has Desdemona's handkerchief proving that Desdemona was unfaithful to him. Bianca is later implicated in Cassio's wounding by Iago even though she is innocent and it was Iago who in the dark stabbed Cassio. Sailor, Officers, Gentlemen, Messengers, Musicians, Heralds, Attendants.