Othello Act 1 Scene 2: Summary & Analysis

Act 1 Scene 2

Othello Act 1 Scene 2 is the first time the readers see the main character and learn about him. In this article, our team prepared a summary and analysis of this part.

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💪 Summary of Othello: Act 1 Scene 2

Othello Act 1 Scene 2 opens with the conversation between Iago and Othello, in which Iago plays a role of a faithful servant and friend. He tells Othello that Barbantio is not happy with the marriage and that Desdemona’s father will do everything he can to annul the marriage. However, Othello is not fearful. He is convinced that the job he has done for Venice should be enough to protect him and his relationships with Desdemona. Othello also does not see himself as inferior to Desdemona. He has royal blood in him.

In the middle of the conversation, Cassio enters the room. He tells Othello that Duke wants to speak with him about Cyprus. In the next moment, Brabantio, Roderigo, and a group of men enter the room. They are searching for Othello too. Brabantio accuses him of being a thief right away. Iago continues playing his role and tells Roderigo that he wants to fight him. Nevertheless, Othello tells everyone to put the swords down.

Brabantio is not ready to calm down. He keeps throwing accusations at Othello. He even accuses the general of using magic to convince Desdemona to marry him. He wants to arrest Othello. However, the general offers a different way. He wants to present this case in front of the Duke.

Duke and his men enter in the next moment. They are speaking about the situation in Cyprus.

🎭 Active Characters

Othello, Iago, Cassio, Roderigo, Brabantio, Duke of Venice

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🔥 Active Themes

Othello themes: racism.Othello themes: women and sexism.Othello themes: appearance vs reality.
RacismSexismAppearance vs. Reality

⭐ Analysis of Othello: Acts 1 Scene 2

This scene demonstrates a vast contradiction between Othello’s portrayal in the first scene and the second one. Othello is confident in his self-worth, and he sounds happy and content about his marriage. He is sure he deserves to be with Desdemona, and their union is based on love. To Iago, who plays a role of a friend and faithful servant, Othello repli

“Let him do his spite.
My services which I have done the Signiory
Shall out-tongue his complaints.”

His appearance, way of speaking, and conduct are quite different from the initial description. He is not a “beast” but is mild in speech and is against unnecessary violence. He orders him to put the swords down. For instance, when Iago wants to fight Roderigo, he tells him to step aside. He also tries to reason with Brabantio and suggests finding a civil way to solve the issues.

In Othello Act 1 Scene 2, the audience sees a powerful man who controls his life both in personal and professional life. He is confident that the government of Venice respects him and that Desdemona truly loves him. Othello is the first character who speaks about love. He says that his consciousness is clean because he loves Desdemona. His relationships with his wife are not based on possessiveness and a superior attitude towards women.

At the same time, Brabantio, Desdemona’s father, cannot believe that she married Othello based on her free will. He suggests that Othello either used black magic, drugs, or other forms of crime to marry her. It demonstrates Brabantio’s racial prejudice. Despite military achievements, professional success, royal blood, Othello does not possess a quality needed to make Desdemona fall in love with him – “whiteness.”

Thanks for reading! Check the summary and analysis of Othello Act 1 Scene 3 or other articles about the play below.

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🎓 References

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IvyPanda. (2021, June 22). Act 1 Scene 2. https://ivypanda.com/lit/othello-study-guide/act-1-scene-2/


IvyPanda. (2021, June 22). Act 1 Scene 2. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/lit/othello-study-guide/act-1-scene-2/

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"Act 1 Scene 2." IvyPanda, 22 June 2021, ivypanda.com/lit/othello-study-guide/act-1-scene-2/.

1. IvyPanda. "Act 1 Scene 2." June 22, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/lit/othello-study-guide/act-1-scene-2/.


IvyPanda. "Act 1 Scene 2." June 22, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/lit/othello-study-guide/act-1-scene-2/.


IvyPanda. 2021. "Act 1 Scene 2." June 22, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/lit/othello-study-guide/act-1-scene-2/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Act 1 Scene 2'. 22 June.

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