Othello the protagonist and tragic hero of the play. He is married to Desdemona and serves as a commanding officer of the Venetian Army. He is hated by Iago and Roderigo, because he did not appoint them or they are in love with the same woman. He is pulled into Iago’s plan and accidently convicts Desdemona of promiscuity. In the end he strangles his wife and eventually commits suicide. He suffers from tragic flaws such as jealousy, does not know who to believe, and he cannot tell his friends from his enemies.
Iago the antagonist of the play. He is angry at Othello because he appointed Cassio as lieutenant instead of him. He devises the plan that will end up in Othello’s death and others. He is married to Emilia and has a dislike towards all women. He pretends to help Roderigo and Othello with their love problems. In the end he is put in jail for his crimes.
Roderigo a friend of Iago. He is madly in love with Desdemona, but she does not share the same feelings. He asks Iago for help and he tells him to put money in his purse and start fights with Cassio. He ends dead in the end by Cassio’s and Iago’s hand.
Desdemona is married to Othello without her father’s permission. She is the symbol of purity and innocence in the play. She is wrongly accused of having an affair with Cassio. She is then killed by Othello because he thought that she was having an affair.
Brabantio Desdemona’s father. He disagrees with Desdemona’s choice of husband in Othello. He later dies from a broken heart because Desdemona is no longer with him.
Cassio Othello’s lieutenant or second in command. He has a bad drinking problem and becomes out of control. He is removed form his possession after assaulting Montano. He is part of Iago’s plan to undermine everyone, he is supposed to die, but Roderigo did not stab him fatally.
Bianca is a promiscuous woman who is in love with Cassio. She gets angry with him when she finds the Desdemona’s handkerchief in Cassio’s house. She believes it is form another woman. Cassio is stabbed on the way to her house.
Emilia is Iago’s wife. She is treated very poorly by Iago, but still stays with him. She is a maid for Desdemona and is always by her side. She stole Desdemona’s handkerchief. In the end she defends Desdemona’s loyalty and ultimately died doing so.
Montano is a highly regarded official in Cyprus. He gets stabbed by Cassio during bar fight.
Gratiano is a kinsman to Brabantio. He is accompanies Lodovico and tells everyone that Brabantio has died of a broken heart.
Lodovico a Venetian gentleman and a cousin to Desdemona. He has heard great stories of Othello and is disappointed meeting him because Othello slaps Desdemona.
ACT I Iago and Roderigo express their annoyances about Othello. They go see Brabantio to tell him that his daughter Desdemona is marrying Othello. He is alarmed by the fact and goes to find Othello to discipline him. Othello has just married Desdemona and has to go see the Duke. Othello is notified by the Duke that he must travel to Cyprus to stop the Turks. Brabantio enters the conversation and accuses Othello of cursing his daughter to marry Othello. Othello tells him that this is not true and they were married out of love. They bring Desdemona in to verify that this true and she is able to do so. Othello must leave for Cyprus and Desdemona decides to accompany him.
ACT II Everyone arrives in Cyprus and the Turks are defeated. Iago discusses his inferior thoughts on women. Iago makes it seem to Roderigo that Desdemona and Cassio are in love and that Roderigo must stop them by starting a fight. Iago encourages Cassio to drink in order to hinder his judgment, which then leads to a fight between Cassio and Montano. Cassio then stabs Montano. Cassio is immediately removed from his possession after Othello hears the truth from Iago. Iago advises Cassio to talk to Desdemona in order to gain back his position from Othello. Iago secretly plans to use Cassio and Desdemona being together to make it look like an affair to Othello.
ACT III Desdemona tries to help Cassio by talking to Othello about gaining back his position. Iago then tells Othello his thoughts about Desdemona and Cassio and their pretend affair. This breaks Othello’s heart because he thinks Desdemona does not like him anymore because he is old, black, and lack proper manners. Emilia steals Desdemona’s handkerchief so when Othello come to ask where the handkerchief is she can no longer find it. Iago is able to prove that Desdemona and Cassio are having an affair by saying that Cassio mutters about Desdemona in his sleep and that he saw Cassio wiping his beard with Desdemona’s handkerchief. Cassio talks to Bianca and asks her to make a copy of the handkerchief.
ACT IV Iago tells Othello that he has heard Cassio talk about Desdemona. This leads into Othello’s tragic flaws, which are jealousy, no being able to tell his friends from his enemies, and trusts everyone. Iago and Cassio discuss Bianca and how Cassio is going out with her. Othello overhears the conversation and believes it is about Desdemona. Iago and Othello create a murder plan to kill Cassio and to strangle Desdemona. Lodovico is introduced and he is surprised by Othello’s attitude towards Desdemona. Othello questions Desdemona about her affair with Cassio, but Desdemona has no idea what he is talking about. Iago then uses flattery to persuade Roderigo to stay. By killing Cassio, Roderigo forcing Desdemona and Othello to stay longer which will result in more time for Roderigo to spend with Desdemona.
ACT V Roderigo attacks Cassio while he is one his way to Bianca’s house. Roderigo is killed and Cassio is stabbed. Lodovico and Gratiano are afraid to approach the men. Othello kills Desdemona by strangling her. Emilia comes in and Othello reveals what Iago has told Othello about Desdemona and Cassio. Emilia does not believe Othello at first. She then tells Othello that she was the one who stole the handkerchief. Iago then kills Emilia for not obeying him. Iago runs away and is captured and brought back. Roderigo’s letters about the killing of Cassio and Roderigo’s discontent about Iago. Othello tells Lodovico to write an accurate report on the happenings. Othello then strikes Iago, but does not kill him because death is happiness. Othello then commits suicide.
The handkerchief kept would make your husband love you, but if it were taken away or lost -lose husband, is white=pure, get dirty as it is used, Made of silk and embalmed in virgin hearts- virgins are pure (Othello’s mind she is not a virgin)
The “Willow” Song “weeping” willow, green equals jealousy (Othello), Thinks there is going to be a bad ending to their relationship like Barbara’s
Is Othello’s downfall a consequence of his own weakness or circumstances beyond his control? How responsible is Othello for the play’s tragic outcome? Explain your answer. Othello’s downfall is the consequence on his own weakness. His tragic flaws of jealousy, not knowing who his friends are, and trusting his enemies ultimately leads to his death.
Iago is considered to be one of Shakespeare’s darkest villains. Which of his acts is the most sinister? Explain your choice.” Iago’s thought on women are by far the most disturbing. He is married, but yet he does not respect his wife or any other woman.
One of the main themes in Othello relates to women and sexuality. How do the female characters in this play demonstrate the views of women in society during Shakespeare’s time? female characters such as Bianca, Desdemona, and Emilia demonstrate Shakespearean thoughts on women, through what they say and do.
There are many instances in the play Othello in which appearance is much different than reality. Give two examples of this and describe how these differences impact the conflicts and outcome in the play. Iago’s appearance to Othello is an example of appearance versus reality. Another instance is when Desdemona continually insists that Othello must rehire Cassio. Othello takes this as a signal of Desdemona’s affair with Cassio.