Othello Summary Act II
Montano the governor of Cypress awaits Othello’s arrival amidst news that the Turkish fleet and possibly Othello has perished in a storm. Meanwhile Desdemona accompanied by Cassio and Iago arrive at cypress and the scheming Iago spotting Cassio’s fondness for Desdemona plans to put it to good use.
Iago tries to manipulate Roderigo into killing Cassio saying that he could well pose as an obstacle between him and Desdemona. When Othello finally makes it to shore much to the relief of all, Iago hatches his evil scheme of telling him that Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair.
Later in the night there is to be a celebration of Othello’s victory over the Turkish fleet as well as his nuptials with Desdemona. Iago forces Cassio to get drunk hoping he will do something foolish. Iago now poisons the governor’s ear against Cassio stating what a drunkard Cassio was.
In a manner of suspense Iago again speaks to Roderigo regarding Cassio. He says to Roderigo
“Provoke him that he may, for even out of that will I cause’ (act ii, 1. 295).
Iago then makes Roderigo attack Cassio who retaliates by wounding Roderigo as well as Montano who was trying to separate the fight. Othello demotes him back to a lieutenant.
Iago then persuades Cassio to speak to Desdemona who he feels can intercede on Cassio’s behalf to get him back into Othello’s favor.
Iago then tells Roderigo that he was successful in spoiling Cassio’s reputation. Iago then convinces his wife Emilia to plan out a meeting with Cassio and Desdemona. The cunning ploy is actually for the benefit of Othello who will end up believing the story that Cassio is indeed having an affair with his wife.