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Emilia Timeline and Summary

  • 2.1 Emilia comes to Cyprus with Desdemona and her husband, Iago, who constantly mocks her.
  • 3.1 Cassio asks Emilia if she can bring him to talk to Desdemona. Emilia agrees.
  • 3.3 Emilia steals Desdemona's handkerchief and gives it to her husband. He isn't particularly grateful.
  • 3.4 Desdemona searches for the lost handkerchief; Emilia says nothing. When Desdemona and Othello fight, Emilia suggests that he's acting jealous.
  • 4.2 Othello interrogates Emilia about whether Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio. Emilia insists Desdemona is innocent. After Othello has another fight with his wife, during which he calls her a whore, Emilia tries to comfort Desdemona. She says Othello is acting just as crazy as Iago did when Iago thought that she and Othello were having an affair. Iago tells her to shut up.
  • 4.3 Emilia helps Desdemona prepare for bed. Desdemona asks her if she thinks women really do cheat on their husbands. Emilia says she would cheat on her husband if the payoff were big enough. Then she rants about the double standard between men's behavior and women's behavior.
  • 5.1 Emilia comes upon the chaos surrounding Cassio and his being wounded in a mysterious attack. Iago sends her to tell the news to Othello.
  • 5.2 Emilia comes into Desdemona's bedroom to find Othello there and Desdemona lying near death. Desdemona says she has been falsely murdered, then dies. Othello admits to doing it and says Desdemona deserved it. Emilia, not caring if Othello kills her, screams and raises the alarm. As Othello keeps talking about the handkerchief, Emilia realizes that Iago must be at fault for Othello's misinformation. She accuses her husband in front of Othello and other witnesses. Othello realizes the truth, and Iago stabs Emilia in revenge. She dies next to Desdemona, pleased with herself for having spoken the truth.