Act I is set in Venice. The plot of Act I of Othello is that Othello a general in the Venetian army chooses his friend Cassio as a lieutenant under him instead of his friend Iago and so to get back at him by telling one of the senators Brabantio of Othello’s elopement with Brabantio’s daughter, Desdemona, in order to get Othello into trouble. Brabantio accuses Othello of using magic on his daughter in order to seduce her but finds out that the love and attraction is genuine for both Othello and Desdemona and begrudgingly approves of the marriage causing Iago’s revenge to back fire. In Act II the setting is now Cyprus. A storm has hit and Othello and Cassio are at sea waiting for an attack from the turks, but the turkish fleet is broken apart by this storm. Cassio arrives safely at the beginning of the act but Othello does not arrive back till later in the act. Cassio sees a ship approach, it is not Othello that arrives in this ship, but Iago, Desdemona and Iago’s wife Emilia. After Cassio greets them and praises Desdemona, Cassio and Iago somehow enter into an argument about what women are and Iago takes a stance of believing that would deserve little praise. Othello arrives shortly after this and he and Desdemona make a public display of their love and leave. Roderigo, a friend of Othello and Iago who pines and lusts after Desdemona, then arrives and Iago tell him that Desdemona will stray from Othello the same way she did from Rodrigo.
There are many themes, and symbols threaded through out Othello, and many kinds of imagery are included in the text as well. One of the many themes in Othello is jealousy. Iago is jealous of Cassio for being appointed lieutenant instead of him and is constantly trying to find ways to get back at Othello, who appointed him, for not appointing Iago instead. Roderigo is jealous of Othello for marrying Desdemona, but despite this jealousy he is always trying to find ways to take his mind off her and move on. One of the many ways he does this is to try to make lots of money but that backfires because he loses all of it and ends up bankrupt with nothing but the clothes on his back. One of the many symbols used as imagery in Othello is the War between the Italians and the Turks. This looming war in the back of the characters minds, that could at anytime come to be fought in their own country and homeland, is a symbol of how love looming all of the characters minds could at any moment suddenly become a war fought in their own homes between themselves on their own turf.