CHARACTERIZATION IN OTHELLO:
WHAT IS CHARACTERIZATION IN LITERATURE?
In literature, characterization is the creation of men, women, and animals to act in a story. It shows how these characters relate ad make effect in a story. Let us discuss some of the characters in the play ‘’Othello”. They are major and minor characters.
MAJOR CHARACTERS IN OTHELLO:
Major characters are vital to the development and resolution of the conflict in a literary work. In others words, the plot and resolution of the conflict revolves around these characters. The story line is based on the major or central characters. The following are the major characters in the play.
OTHELLO: He was a moor of high rank. He was a general in the army and it made him to be a member of the noble class. As a courageous man he was made as a commander of an army to Cyprus by the Venetian Senate. He was a self controlled man and not quick to anger. Iago said he had a constant noble nature. He cannot think clearly and acted on instinct. He always demands straightforwardness in others. He found it difficult to know that Iago planned all the evils in the play. He married Desdemona whom he murdered out of jealousy.
IAGO: He was a young ambitious soldier in the Venetian army. He was a terrible villain in the play or Shakespeare stage story. He claimed that all his actions were caused as a result of being deprived of the post of a lieutenant. He took his revenge on anybody at the slightest provocation. He had hatred for women, thought that they are naturally lazy. There was an element of homosexuality in his life. He expressed love for Othello and created marital problem for Othello in his matrimonial home. He understood the people around him quickly. He knew that Othello attached much attention to the handkerchief and quickly made Emilia to steal it from Desdemona.
DESDEMONA: She was the wife of Othello, a rounded figure in the play, weak and too submissive. Despite Othello’s accusations and maltreatment she continued show her love for him. She was an obedient daughter to her father. She was a character that was suffocated based on demand put on her fidelity. Othello believed that she was moving away from her matrimonial home. Ironically, she was murdered on her matrimonial bed by her husband Othello.
CASSIO: Cassio was seen as a competent soldier. He was able to wound Roderigo when he was waylaid by Cassio. He had respect for women unlike Iago. He was not good at drinking. He knew his limitation, confided in Iago lbut Iago forced him to get drunk and led to his suspension by Othello. His association with women of low esteem [Bianca] made Iago to carry out his evil plans on Othello and Desdemona.
RODERIGO: Roderigo was a gentleman controlled by Iago. He depended on Iago to woo a woman for him. Iago used this to exploit money from him telling him that he was working for him. Iago worked for nobody except for himself. He was deceived by Iago, fell into the plan of getting rid of Cassio in the dark.
EMILIA: She was a serving woman attending to Desdemona. She was loyal to Desdemona but she allowed herself to be used against Desdemona by Iago. She stole the handkerchief given to Desdemona by Othello and gave it to Iago her husband. She later revealed the evils in Iago. She was stabbed to death by Iago.
CHARACTERIZATION IN OTHELLO
MINOR CHARACTERS IN OTHELLO
Minors’ characters serve to complement the major characters and help move the plot events forward. They are not the essential part in a literary work. Some minors characters may appear once in a play and nothing will be said about them anymore. Let us discuss some of these minor characters in ‘’Othello’’.
BRABATIO: He was Desdemona father. He was a rich man, an important Venetian politician. He liked Othello; he invited him to his house to tell of his youthful expenditure. He accused Othello of using charms to woo his daughter. He saw his daughter as his property and her marriage as potential business transactions. It was reported that he died out of grief when her daughter ran away with Othello.
BIANCA: She was a Venetian prostitute that loved Cassio. She was a prostitute in a city that was known for promiscuity. Othello believed that all the women in the play were wayward in one way or the other. All the three women mentioned in the play were accused at one point or the other.
DUKE AND THE SENATORS: They were the men in charge of Venice. They were given the responsibility of protecting the interest of Venice and its citizens. They taught Othello was a great man and a good great son-in-inlaw.
LODOVICO: He was Desdemona cousin. He belonged to the diplomatic service men of Venice. He was around when Othello slapped Desdemona in Cyprus Island. He witnessed the death of all the main characters in the play. He survived the inevitable bloodshed in the play. He promised to report all that he witnessed to the Duke in Venice.
MONTANO: He was the governor of Cyprus before the appointment of Othello to that post. He fought with Cassio accidentally and led Cassio into serious trouble with Othello. He was somebody who was not competent enough to curtail himself. It was one of the reasons why the Venetian senate directed Othello to take over the affairs of Cyprus from him.
GRATIANO: Gratiano was Desdemona’s uncle. He was with Lodovico when they said that Desdemona was dead. He was sad because Desdemona was killed by a man her father did not want her to marry.