The people of Cyprus watch from shore as a storm is battering the Venetian fleet that was sent to defend the island of Cyprus from the Turks who are invading. The moor, Otello, is a Venetian general and the governor of Cyprus. He successfully lands his ship in the port and announces the destruction of the Turkish fleet. Iago, Otello’s ensign, talks with the wealthy Roderigo, who openly loves Desdemona, the beautiful Venetian bride of Otello. Iago promises to help Roderigo woo her, stating that Desdemona will get tired of her new husband soon enough. Revealing the source of his anger, Iago states that he hates Otello for promoting Cassio over him.
The townspeople celebrate their victory over the Turks, and Iago proposes a toast. Cassio declines a drink, but Iago persuades him, stating that he can not refuse to honor Otello and his new wife. Cassio reluctantly toasts, but quickly becomes drunk as Iago provokes both Roderigo and Cassio to fight. Montano, the former governor of