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Act 2, Scene 1: "Cyprus. The port." Notes from Othello

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Othello Act 2, Scene 1: "Cyprus. The port."

Montano, the governor of Cyprus talks with a gentleman about the end of the Turkish wars and of the Venetian victory by the brave and gallant Othello. They speak of him highly and rush to the seaside to greet him. There they meet his lieutenant, Cassio, who has just survived a violent tempest and is waiting for Othello's ship to port. Cassio prays that Othello is still alive and informs the gentlemen that Othello's wife, Desdemona, has been left in the hands of Iago.

Iago, Desdemona, Roderigo, and Emilia, Iago's wife, enter the port, to the delight of Cassio and Montano. They all eagerly await Othello's arrival, while Iago and Emilia playfully exchange witty remarks. Desdemona interrupts Iago's poor compliments of Emilia and requests her own, to which Iago seemingly fails. His compliments and remarks on good womanhood give Desdemona reason to pity Emilia. Cassio takes Desdemona aside to comfort her. Iago witnesses this exchange of so-called affection and finds fuel for his malice. "He takes her by the palm. Ay, well said, whisper. With as little a web as this will I ensnare as great a fly as Cassio. Ay, smile upon her, do. I will fetter you in your own courtship" Act 2, Scene 1.

Topic Tracking: Miscommunication 3
Topic Tracking: Revenge 4

Othello arrives with a fanfare of trumpets and attendants thrilled to see his beloved wife waiting for him. He vows to show her the love that he has been showed in Cyprus and they exit in joyful communion. Iago and Roderigo are left to conspire. Iago, again, declares his hatred for the Moor and his intentions to destroy him through the façade of love and loyalty. He plans to make Desdemona slowly abhor Othello and to use Cassio as a means of cuckolding him, bringing nothing but hatred and dishonor to Othello's world. Iago claims to have also fallen in love with Desdemona - yet for adventure and sin alone.

"I do suspect the lusty Moor
Has leaped into my seat: the thought whereof
Doe, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards,
And nothing can, or shall, content my soul
Till I am evened with him, wife for wife.
Or failing so, yet that I put the Moor
At least into a jealousy so strong
That judgment cannot cure."
Act 2, Scene 1

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