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The Characters

By William Shakespeare, written in 1603–04 and published in 1622.


As a respected and accomplished general in the Venetian army, I am Othello, a man of noble stature and strong character. My origins may be humble, but my determination and military prowess have brought me to prominence. A Moorish by birth, I have faced prejudice and discrimination, but I have proven my worth time and again. I am deeply in love with Desdemona, my virtuous and loyal wife. However, my trust is easily manipulated, and I find myself falling victim to the cunning machinations of Iago, leading to tragic consequences. Throughout the play, I am a complex figure torn between love and jealousy, honour and revenge.


I am Desdemona, a young and innocent Venetian noblewoman. Known for my beauty and grace, I have captured the heart of Othello, a valiant Moorish general. Despite the societal expectations placed upon women of my time, I am strong-willed and assertive, choosing to defy convention to follow my heart. I am deeply devoted to Othello and strive to be a loyal and supportive wife. However, my love and trust are tested when I am falsely accused of infidelity. With unwavering loyalty and unwavering innocence, I become entangled in a web of deceit and betrayal, ultimately facing a tragic fate.


I am Iago, the cunning and manipulative ensign of Othello. Seemingly loyal and trustworthy, I hide my true nature beneath a veneer of loyalty and friendship. Fuelled by jealousy and a thirst for power, I weave a web of deception and destruction, setting in motion a chain of events that leads to tragedy. I am a master of manipulation, exploiting the weaknesses and insecurities of those around me. With my silver tongue and strategic mind, I play upon Othello’s insecurities, planting seeds of doubt and jealousy in his mind. My motivations are complex, and my actions reveal the darkest depths of human nature.



I am Emilia, a woman of wit and intelligence and the wife of Iago. While I may initially appear subservient to my husband, I possess a strong sense of justice and morality. Though my loyalty is torn between my husband and my mistress, Desdemona, my love for truth and righteousness prevails. As the play unfolds, I become an unwitting pawn in Iago’s schemes, but eventually, I find the courage to expose his treachery. I am a complex character, torn between loyalty and conscience, and ultimately become a catalyst for the revelation of Iago’s malicious machinations.


I am Cassio, a young and honorable Florentine soldier, entrusted with a high rank in the Venetian army. Known for my charm and charisma, I am well-liked by my comrades and respected for my skills on the battlefield. I am a loyal friend to Othello and deeply regret the events that lead to my downfall. When I am manipulated by Iago and fall from grace, I strive to redeem myself and regain Othello’s trust. Throughout the play, I exhibit a sense of honor and integrity, though I find myself caught in the midst of jealousy, manipulation, and tragedy.


I am Brabantio, a respected Venetian senator and Desdemona’s father. As a protective and conservative figure, I am shocked and enraged when I learn of my daughter’s secret marriage to Othello, a Moorish general. My prejudiced views and rigid mindset prevent me from accepting their union, and I perceive Othello as an unworthy suitor. Despite my initial opposition, I become embroiled in the tragic events that unfold, witnessing the consequences of my own prejudices and the destructive power of jealousy and manipulation.


I am Roderigo, a wealthy and gullible Venetian gentleman. Driven by my infatuation with Desdemona, I foolishly follow Iago’s lead, hoping to win her love. Though easily swayed and naive, I possess a deep longing for acceptance and a desire to prove my worth. My actions throughout the play are often fueled by my unrequited love and desperation to possess Desdemona. Unfortunately, I am manipulated and used as a pawn in Iago’s grand scheme, ultimately meeting a tragic end.


I am Bianca, a courtesan in Cyprus. Though I am often dismissed as a mere mistress, I am a spirited and independent woman. I am passionately involved with Cassio, and while our relationship is unconventional, I am deeply devoted to him. In the midst of the chaos and deceit orchestrated by Iago, I am caught in the crossfire, becoming entangled in the web of suspicion and betrayal. Throughout the play, I demonstrate resilience and a willingness to fight for the truth, even if it means risking my own safety.


I am Montano, the governor of Cyprus. As a respected figure in the community, I strive to maintain order and uphold justice. Throughout the play, I witness the devastating effects of Iago’s deceit and manipulation, and I find myself caught in the midst of escalating conflicts. While I do my best to navigate the treacherous waters, my character serves as a reminder of the collateral damage caused by the unchecked ambitions and jealousy of others.


I am Lodovico, a nobleman hailing from Venice and a relative of Desdemona. With a dignified demeanor and a keen sense of observation, I find myself thrust into the tumultuous events that unfold in Cyprus. As a representative of the Venetian Senate, my presence serves as a reminder of the authority and influence that Venice wields over its colonies. Throughout the play, I bear witness to the tragic downfall of Othello, and I become increasingly appalled by the destructive forces of jealousy and manipulation at work. My character embodies the voice of reason and morality, seeking to restore order and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.


I am Graziano, a loyal Venetian gentleman and friend of Brabantio, Desdemona’s father. Known for my affable nature and quick wit, I provide a sense of light-heartedness amidst the dark and tragic events of the play. As a trusted confidant, I offer support and guidance to those around me, including my dear friend Brabantio. While not directly entangled in the web of deceit woven by Iago, I keenly observe the unraveling of relationships and the devastating consequences that follow. With a strong sense of justice, I stand alongside Lodovico as a voice of reason, seeking to uncover the truth and bring about resolution in the midst of chaos.

Duke of Venice

I am the Duke of Venice, a figure of authority and power. When confronted with the accusations brought against Othello, I exemplify the impartiality and wisdom expected of my position. As a voice of reason and fairness, I oversee the proceedings and make judgments based on the evidence presented. Although my appearance is brief, my character represents the higher moral and societal standards that should prevail, contrasting the chaos and tragedy that unfolds within the play.


We are the esteemed governing body of Venice. With authority and responsibility, we make crucial decisions that shape the course of events. Our presence symbolizes the power and influence of Venice over its colonies. We uphold order and justice, embodying the higher moral and ethical standards expected of our positions. Though individually unnamed, our collective voice represents the voice of reason and civilization amidst the chaos and destruction in Cyprus. We bear witness to the tragic consequences of jealousy and manipulation, recognizing the impact of our decisions on the lives of those involved. While our appearances may be limited, our role underscores the political and societal backdrop against which the tragedy unfolds.


I am the Clown, a jester and servant in “Othello.” With humor and wit, I bring laughter to the play’s intense drama. Through clever wordplay and jokes, I provide moments of relief from the tension. Despite my role as a comic figure, I often offer insights and irony, revealing hidden truths. While my appearances are brief, I remind the audience that even in tragedy, there is room for humor. I embody the delicate balance between light and dark, showing that laughter can coexist amidst turmoil.