Othello opens to a scene on a street in Venice. Roderigo, a wealthy man, and Iago are arguing. Roderigo has been paying Iago for help in trying to hook up with Desdemonia, so far he has been unsuccessful. Roderigo has also just learned that Othello and Desdemonia have married, furthering the extent of his disdain. Iago (whom we later find out to be the villain of the play) comments on his hate for Othello. Apparently he was recently passed up for a promotion to lieutenant, and a less experienced Cassio was chosen in his place.
They proceed to tell Brabanzio that Othello has kidnapped and married his daughter, Desdemonia. Brabanzio, realizing his daughter is gone, calls up some officers to hunt Othello down. Back at Othello's, he receives a message from the duke stating that he is needed at Cyprus, where the Turkish are about to attack.
Just as Othello leaves, Brabanzio arrives and is told that Othello has gone before the duke. Brabanzio decides to meet him there and accuse him of stealing his daughter in front of the senate.
Brabanzio's plan is ruined as Othello describes how he won Desdemonia over with harrowing tales. Desdemonia arrives and informs everyone she married willingly. Brabanzio id frusta traded but allows the senate to proceed. With the senates orders to send Othello to Cyprus, Desdemonia insists she go as well, and they make preparations for the trip. The next day, in Cyprus, the reader learns that the Turkish fleet has been wrecked by a storm. Othello then informs everyone of the pending celebration of their safety.
In what appears to be advice, Iago tells Roderigo that he can win Desdemonia over when she gets bored with Othello only if he disgraces Cassio. In a soliloquy he tells the...