Othello Summary Act IV
Iago enrages Othello by saying that cassio confided in him that he had slept with Desdemona. He feigns sympathy for Othello insinuating that Cassio may boast about it to others. he chides Othello in lamenting over a handkerchief which isn’t a big deal when his wife has already slept with cassio,
To provides proof Iago hides Othello and speaks with Cassio about his mistress Bianca instead. An angry Othello assumes they are discussing Desdemona. Bianca returns the handkerchief in anger to Cassio which makes him infuriated at the worthless regard for the handkerchief. He can’t take it anymore he plans on killing his wife. Iago suggests he strangle her in bed while promising to kill cassio.
Iago addresses an object in an apostrophe imploring his poisonous medicine he has induced in Othello to work
“Work on, My medicine, and work!” (act iv, I 54-58)
He uses an allusion to describe that Desdemona will be going to hell after death
“That have the office opposite to Saint Peter….”(act 4, ii 106)
Lodovico a nobleman who arrives at cypress stating that the Duke instructs Othello’s return and cassio is to be governor of cypress replacing Montano. Othello is enraged at Desdemona’s delight of Cassio’s elevation of status. This leaves Desdemona saddened at the change in Othello.
Othello doesn’t not believe Emilia who suggests nothing took place between cassio and Desdemona.
When he reveals the cause of his anger to Desdemona she is surprised and pleads her innocence but he won’t listen to her. Emilia is certain of maliciousness at play without realizing Iago is to blame. Meanwhile Iago keeps all the gifts sent to Desdemona form Roderigo and tells him that he wants Cassio dead.
When Emilia has made Desdemona’s bed with their wedding sheets, In a foreshadowed opinion of something dreadful to happen Desdemona requests Emilia to bury her in the same sheets should she die before her. Desdemona’s virtuous character is personified by the lines which she proclaims before retiring to bed
“Good night, good night/Heaven me such uses send/Not to pick bad from bad, but by bad mend!” (IV.iii.102-3)
stating that she hopes to mend the flaws in her character to become even more loving to Othello.