Internet Shakespeare Editions


Discord and disorder

The play begins in the streets of Venice. From the first scene, it is apparent that there are subversive forces at work. Iago and Roderigo are in a quarrel involving money and there is yelling in the streets late at night. Iago has convinced Roderigo to divulge Othello and Desdemona's elopement in the streets. Brabantio, Desdemona's father, accuses Roderigo of causing a drunken disturbance, but listens to his story in the end because of his earlier dream. The discord in society is reflected in the description of characters as out of order, as acting bestial.