• Moor, successful mercenary general working for state of Venice
  • Middle aged bachelor elopes with + marries wealthy young Venetian Desdemona
  • Posted to Cyprus as governer during Turkish conflict
  • He believes Iagos false tales of wifes adultery and smothers her, afterwards kills himself
  • Before he appears Iago makes us believe hes bombastic- actually hes impressive (sincerity, openness, natural authority)
  • Unlike other tragic protagonists of Shakespeare he's not monarch, aspiring monarch or displaced prince
  • The Moor = descendant of a royal line of kings + has been impressive military commander
  • 'Valiant Othello' (l.3.49) commands respect of figures of authority: Duke of Venice, Brabrantio, Governer Montano)
  • Conscientious soldier, doesnt want his wedding festivities to get out of hand
  • Speaks + acts powerfully, inspires confidence in his character throughout 1st two acts of play ( e.g. dignity in front of the senate Act III Scene 2)
  • Positive attributes indicate we…


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