Othello Character List
The play's protagonist and hero. A Christian Moor and general of the
armies of Venice, Othello is an eloquent and physically powerful figure,
respected by all those around him. In spite of his elevated status, he is
nevertheless easy prey to insecurities because of his age, his life as a
soldier, and his race. He possesses a "free and open nature,"
which his ensign Iago uses to twist his love for his wife, Desdemona, into
a powerful and destructive jealousy (I.iii.381).
A jealous suitor of Desdemona. Young, rich, and foolish, Roderigo is
convinced that if he gives Iago all of his money, Iago will help him win
Desdemona's hand. Repeatedly frustrated as Othello marries Desdemona and
then takes her to Cyprus, Roderigo is ultimately desperate enough to agree
to help Iago kill Cassio after Iago points out that Cassio is another
potential rival for Desdemona.
A courtesan, or prostitute, in Cyprus. Bianca's favorite customer is
Cassio, who teases her with promises of marriage.
Desdemona's father, a somewhat blustering and self-important Venetian
senator. As a friend of Othello, Brabanzio feels betrayed when the general
marries his daughter in secret.
of Venice - The official authority in Venice, the Duke has great respect for
Othello as a public and military servant. His primary role within the play
is to reconcile Othello and Brabantio in Act I, scene iii, and then to
send Othello to Cyprus.
The governor of Cyprus before Othello. We see him first in Act II, as he
recounts the status of the war and awaits the Venetian ships.
One of Brabantio's kinsmen, Lodovico acts as a messenger from Venice to
Cyprus. He arrives in Cyprus in Act IV with letters announcing that
Othello has been replaced by Cassio as governor.
Brabantio's kinsman who accompanies Lodovico to Cyprus. Amidst the chaos
of the final scene, Graziano mentions that Desdemona's father has died.
Othello's servant. Although the Clown appears only in two short scenes,
his appearances reflect and distort the action and words of the main
plots: his puns on the word "lie" in Act III, scene iv, for
example, anticipate Othello's confusion of two meanings of that word in
Act IV, scene i.