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English Literature

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Desdemona is Othello's wife. She is young, beautiful and from a rich family. She has secretly married Othello and is faithful and obedient, but also strong. She defends herself against her father's accusations and shows that she is quick-witted. She is capable of persuading Othello and tries to have Cassio re-appointed. She remains obedient to the end, and blames herself for her death rather than blaming Othello.

Roderigo is young, rich and in love with Desdemona. He tried to propose to her before she married Othello and he still hopes she will run away with him. He still sends her presents via Iago (of course, Iago is so dishonest he doesn't pass these on). Roderigo is naïve and easily manipulated into agreeing to kill Cassio, but when he fails, Iago kills him.

Emilia is Iago's wife and Desdemona's attendant. She is loyal to Desdemona and is friendly and helpful. However, she is not very close to her husband and has a low opinion of men in general. At the end of the play she insists on telling everyone what her husband did, and so is killed by him.

Cassio is a young soldier. He has been promoted by Othello and is very friendly with him. He is also on good terms with Desdemona. He is inexperienced in fighting and in life, so Iago can get him drunk easily, and that leads to him being dismissed. Cassio stays completely loyal to Othello and at the end is put in charge of Iago's punishment.

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