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Othello Characters

Duke of Venice

The Duke of Venice has more pressing concerns than the family problems of one old Senator, but he allows Brabantio to interrupt his council of war all the same. 

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First Senator

First Senator is certain that the Turkish move towards Rhodes is nothing but a ruse, and convinces the rest of the war council so.

Second Senator

Second Senator is part of the war council of Venice, and concludes that despite the disparity in numbers in the information they are receiving, the general message is clear and all that they need be concerned about.


Gratiano is Brabantio’s brother. He is one of the Venetians who arrive on Cyprus after Othello’s victory, in his case bringing the news of Brabantio’s death. 

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Lodovico is a kinsman of Brabantio’s. He leads the Venetian party that comes to Cyprus after Othello’s victory to proclaim Cassio the new governor.

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Othello is a Moor and a mercenary retained by the Venetian state. Widely travelled and experienced, he considers himself of no country until he binds himself to Desdemona. 

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Cassio is a young Florentine officer in Venice’s army. Academically trained, he has had little if any real wartime experience. 

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Iago is an ancient (ensign) serving Othello, a battle-hardened veteran of 28 whose bluff honesty leaves him trusted and even liked by all who meet him.

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Roderigo is a young man of Venice desperately in love with Desdemona, who has been rejected both by her and her father. 

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Montano is the Governor of Cyprus. He sends news to the Venetian Senate of the Turkish advance towards the island. 

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A Clown is one of Othello and Desdemona’s servants. He is incapable of resisting an opportunity for wordplay.


Emilia is Iago’s wife. As Desdemona intends to follow Othello to the war, the latter requests that Emilia become his wife’s attendant. 

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First Gentleman

The First Gentleman of Cyprus stands with Montano looking out at the storm-ridden sea in the hopes of making out what is happening with the Turkish and Venetian fleets, but can see nothing.

Second Gentleman

The Second Gentleman of Cyprus is reasonably certain that the Turkish fleet will be drowned by the storm. He recognizes Iago, and knows the forms of salutation between ships and fortress.

Third Gentleman

The Third Gentleman of Cyprus brings Montano the news that the Turkish fleet is sunk by the storm and that Cyprus is therefore safe. Having this news from Cassio, he shares the latter’s worry at the fact that the storm parted Othello’s ship from the rest of the fleet.


A Sailor brings news to the Venetian war council that the Turkish fleet is heading to Rhodes rather than Cyprus. 

First Messenger

The First Messenger brings news to the Venetian war council that two Turkish fleets have met near Rhodes and are now aiming for Cyprus.

Second Messenger

The Second Messenger informs Montano that the people of Cyprus are gathered by the shore and have sighted a sail.


A Herald proclaims the general festivities on Cyprus for the victory over the Turks, with an added plea for extra merriment to celebrate Othello’s marriage.

First Musician

The First Musician playing the pipes is quite willing to cease playing when paid to do so.


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