Othello

Oct 04, 1981 on BBC TWO at 12:00 AM

Summary

Set in 16th-century Venice and Cyprus, Othello the Moor, a noble black warrior in the Venetian army, has secretly married a beautiful white woman called Desdemona, the daughter of a prominent senator, Brabantio. When he finds out, he is outraged, and... (more) promptly disowns her. Othello’s ensign, Iago, harbours a secret jealousy and resentment towards the Moor, partly because another soldier, lieutenant Cassio, has been promoted ahead of him, and also because he suspects that Othello has had an affair with his wife. Intent on revenge, Iago hatches a devious plan to plant suspicions in Othello’s mind that Desdemona has been unfaithful to him with Cassio. He orchestrates a street fight, for which Cassio is wrongly blamed, and is then dismissed from his post by Othello. Desdemona takes up Cassio’s case with her husband, which only further inflames his suspicions that the pair are lovers. In the meantime, Iago manages to procure a treasured handkerchief from Desdemona that was given to her by Othello. He plants it on Cassio so that Othello sees it, then concludes that it is proof of their affair. Maddened by jealousy, he orders Iago to murder Cassio, and then he strangles Desdemona. Immediately afterwards her innocence is revealed, and Iago’s treachery exposed. In a fit of grief and remorse Othello kills himself. Iago is taken into custody by the Venetian authorities.

Previous episode

Antony and Cleopatra
Season 1 Episode 18

May 08, 1981

Next episode

Troilus and Cressida
Season 1 Episode 20

Nov 07, 1981