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Othello | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Professor Bradley Greenburg of Northeastern Illinois University explains the main characters in William Shakespeare's play Othello.

Othello | Characters

Character Description
Othello Othello is a Moor who has become a general in the Venetian army. Read More
Iago Iago is Othello's ensign, or third in command, and the villain of the play. Read More
Desdemona Desdemona is Othello's beautiful and kind wife, through whom Iago plans to ruin Othello. Read More
Cassio Michael Cassio is Othello's young but devoted second in command. Read More
Roderigo Roderigo is a foolish young gentleman who is paying Iago to help him woo Desdemona. Read More
Bianca Bianca is a Venetian courtesan who has a special relationship with Cassio.
Brabantio Brabantio is Desdemona's volatile and paternalistic father.
Clown The Clown is a servant of Othello's and a source of humor in an otherwise dark and violent play.
Duke of Venice The ruler of Venice, the Duke of Venice summons Othello for military service in Cyprus, and takes Othello's side in the disagreement between Othello and Brabantio.
Emilia Emilia is Iago's wife, but she is also a woman with progressive opinions about the ways men and women interact and the double standards by which they are judged.
The gentlemen of Cyprus The gentlemen of Cyprus discuss the major storm at sea that destroys the Turkish fleet.
Graziano Graziano is a Venetian gentleman related to Brabantio who accompanies Lodovico.
Lodovico Lodovico is a Venetian gentleman related to Brabantio who carries messages from Venice to Cyprus.
Montano Montano is in charge of Cyprus before Othello arrives.
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