Act 5, Scene 2: "The citadel. A bedchamber." Notes from Othello

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Othello Act 5, Scene 2: "The citadel. A bedchamber."

Othello enters the bedchamber with a light and sees Desdemona on their bed. He speaks in soliloquy of his necessity to kill her, his desire to be revenged, and also of his strong love he still feels for her.

"It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul:
Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars!
It is the cause. Yet I'll not shed her blood,
Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow,
And smooth as monumental alabaster.
Yet she must die, else she'll betray more men.
Put out the light, and then put out the light."
Act 5, Scene 2

Topic Tracking: Revenge 7

Desdemona awakens to an enraged man standing over her prepared for murder. Othello confronts her regarding the supposed disloyalty and affair with Cassio, whom, he tells her, can no longer speak. She defends her honesty and chastity and claims to know nothing about the missing handkerchief. As she begs for her life and prays, Othello smothers her.

Topic Tracking: Miscommunication 10

Emilia comes running in to speak to Othello frantically. Her voice frightens Othello, for he believes it to be the voice of his almost dead wife. Emilia tells him that Cassio has killed Roderigo. Othello is enraged that Cassio is not dead, as well. Emilia hears Desdemona's weak voice from behind the curtain and asks who committed such a horrific deed. She claims that nobody killed her - she killed? herself - and then she dies. Othello continues to curse Desdemona, even after her death, telling Emilia that she is a whore and that it was he who killed her. He also tells her that Iago, her husband, is the source of information. Emilia is livid with her husband, and cries out that Othello has murdered Desdemona.

Gratiano speaks for Desdemona and thanks God that her father, Brabantio, who has died of grief, is not present to see such a horror. Othello, once again, claims that Iago told him of Cassio and Desdemona's affair. Emilia cries out the truth: that she found the handkerchief and gave it to her husband, and that he lied about the entire affair. Iago calls Emilia a whore and a wretch and draws his sword on her. Gratiano cannot believe that someone would draw a weapon on a woman, while Othello comes to terms with the truth. Iago stabs Emilia and runs away. Montano and Gratiano race after Iago, the villain, in order to catch and slay him. Emilia asks to be placed next to her dying mistress, and as she dies, she tells Othello that Desdemona is innocent and chaste.

Othello looks for another sword and he finds a treasured one from Spain. He plans to end his life. He walks over to the bed to see his beloved Desdemona cold and dead. "O cursed, cursed slave! Whip me, ye devils, / From the possession of this heavenly sight! / Blow me about in winds! Roast me in sulphur! / Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire! / O Desdemon! Dead Desdemon! Dead! O! O!" Act 5, Scene 2. Lodovico, Montano, Iago, and a seated Cassio enter seeking Othello. Othello stabs Iago, but does not kill him, because he believes death is the easy route. Lodovico does not know what to do to Othello, a man who was once so good, but fell prey to a "damned slave". Othello falls prey to Iago's ploy, and his own jealousy. Othello believes himself to be an honorable murderer, for he acted in honor and not in hate. Lodovico unveils a letter found in the pocket of the slain Roderigo explaining the scheming behind his and Cassio's deaths. Lodovico banishes Othello from Cyprus and places Cassio in command. Before Othello leaves, he tells everyone that he loved Desdemona too greatly, but not too wisely. He stabs himself and falls upon the bed with Desdemona, saying, "I kissed you, ere I killed you: no way but this, / Killing myself, to die upon a kiss" Act 5, Scene 2. Cassio, Lodovico, and Gratiano have honor and compassion for the Moor and plan to hide the events of the evening.

Topic Tracking: Revenge 8
Topic Tracking: Miscommunication 11
Topic Tracking: Jealousy 8

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