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Shakespeare: Othello

19. Act 5, Scene 1: Cassio Injured, Roderigo Killed

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In this module, we read through Act 5, Scene 1, the scene in which, in a confusing melee, Cassio is injured and Roderigo stabbed and killed by Iago. In particular, we think about: (i) Iago’s sense of responsibility for those around him; (ii) the brawl between Cassio and Roderigo, in which both men are injured, one mortally; and (iii) the character of Bianca and the concept of the ‘honest whore’.


In this twenty-one part course, Professor John McRae (University of Nottingham) explores Shakespeare’s Othello. We begin with a broad introduction to the historical, political and intellectual context of early 17th-century England, before going through the play scene-by-scene, providing close reading and detailed analysis, with commentary on character, plot, themes and motifs, language, symbolism, and more.

Note: We used the Arden edition of the play (Third Series, Revised Edition, ed. E. A. J. Honigmann). Students using a different version of the play may encounter slight differences in both the text and line numbers.


John McRae is Special Professor of Language in Literature Studies and Teaching Associate in the School of English at Nottingham University, and holds Visiting Professorships in China, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. He is co-author of The Routledge History of Literature in English with Ron Carter, and also wrote The Language of Poetry, Literature with a Small 'l' and the first critical edition of Teleny by Oscar Wilde and others.

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APA style

McRae, J. (2019, January 27). Shakespeare: Othello - Act 5, Scene 1: Cassio Injured, Roderigo Killed [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

McRae, J. "Shakespeare: Othello – Act 5, Scene 1: Cassio Injured, Roderigo Killed." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 27 Jan 2019,

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