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Desdemona Timeline and Summary

  • 1.1 Iago reveals that Desdemona has secretly married Othello.
  • 1.2 Desdemona tells her father and the Duke that she married Othello out of love. Then she asks permission to travel with him when he goes to war in Cyprus.
  • 2.1 Desdemona gets to Cyprus first and worries about Othello until he gets there.
  • 2.3 The happy couple is interrupted when Othello has to settle a fight. Desdemona joins, upset, and asks her husband what's going on.
  • 3.3 Cassio asks Desdemona to help him get his job back after Othello fired him for fighting drunkenly the night before. Desdemona agrees to sweet talk Othello until he gives in and says he'll take Cassio back. Later, Desdemona comes in and finds Othello upset. She tries to comfort him, but accidentally drops the special handkerchief that Othello gave her.
  • 3.4 Othello demands to see the handkerchief. Desdemona doesn't have it, but she lies and says it isn't lost. She tries to have him promise to give Cassio his job back. Othello and Desdemona have their first big fight, and she's still shell-shocked when Cassio and Iago come in. But she gradually convinces herself that she's wrong to blame Othello for the fight – she can't expect him to be sweet all the time, and fighting is normal.
  • 4.1 Othello slaps Desdemona in public.
  • 4.2 Othello confronts Desdemona and tries to make her confess she's a whore. She denies it, but he doesn't believe her. Desdemona begs Iago to help her figure out what's wrong with her husband.
  • 4.3 Getting ready for bed, Desdemona broods over Othello's strange behavior. She starts singing a depressing song about a woman whose lover deserts her. Then she asks Emilia if there really are women who cheat on their husbands. Desdemona can't believe anyone would do that.
  • 5.2 Desdemona wakes up to find Othello hanging out over her with a creepy look on his face. It doesn't take long for her to realize that he's going to kill her. She tries to convince him that she's innocent, and then begs him to delay her death for even a few minutes. He refuses and smothers her. But she's not quite dead – yet. When Emilia enters, Desdemona utters with her final breaths that she is innocent, but still refuses to pin the blame for her death on Othello.