The main characters in Act 1 are Othello, Brabantio, Roderigo, Iago, Cassio, The Duke and Desdemona. There are also two senators in the play as well as an Officer, a Sailor and a Messenger. I will now give a brief description of each one of these characters. Othello: A commander for the Military Force of Venice. Being an origin of Mauritania, he is referred to as a “Moor”. His triumphant line of work brings him a high rank in Venice. We know this from how people refer to him “Valiant Othello” (Act 1 Scene 3, Line 48, Duke) But being a foreign person of a different colour, he is socially separated from those whom he works with.
He is a military man, with repute for bravery in combat and fine judgment in military matters. In act 1, we learn that Othello falls in love and marries Desdemona without Desdemona’s fathers consent. Brabantio: A member of the Venetian Senate. He is the father of Desdemona and brother of Gratiano.
His first appearance is in Act 1 Scene 1 where Iago and Roderigo tell him that Othello has married his daughter. When he hears of his daughter’s marriage to Othello, Brabantio accuses Othello of using magic on his daughter to bewitch her into loving him.
Brabantio consequently brings Othello to court in front of the duke and two senates. After the events that happen he disowns his daughter. He advises Othello that, “She has deceived her father, and may thee” Desdemona: Desdemona is the daughter of Brabantio; a man of high repute in Venice. For that reason, Desdemona is an upper class lady. Desdemona elopes with Othello and escorts him to Cyprus. After Cassio is shamed, she pleads for his reinstatement, an act which her husband interprets as proof of Iago’s inference that she is disloyal.
She is eventually slaughtered by Othello in the final scene of the play. Roderigo: Roderigo is a Venetian gentleman frantically craving Desdemona. Roderigo tells Iago that he does not appreciate him using his money. “I take it much unkindly, that thou, Iago, who hast had my purse… ” However, when Iago tells him his plot in order to capture Desdemona’s heart Roderigo forgets Iago’s “theft” and agrees to kill Cassio. He does everything that Iago asks him to do and has no idea that he is being systematically cheated by him.
In the final scene of the play, he wounds and gets wounded by Cassio in an unsuccessful attempt to murder the lieutenant, and as a consequence he is killed by Iago. Iago: Iago is Othello’s servant. When Othello promotes Michael Cassio, Iago feels affronted and conspires to affront them both. He manipulates Cassio into making himself look bad and urges Roderigo to slay Cassio. When the plot fails, he kills Roderigo to make sure he does not show him up. Iago convinces Othello of Desdemona’s deceitfulness and maneuvers him into killing her.
He then murders his own wife, Emilia, and is taken into custody by Cassio at the play’s end. Michael Cassio: Cassio is a gentleman soldier; he comes from Florentine and has a weakness for women and alcohol. Cassio is well bought up, and well learned. He is one of Othello’s lieutenants. Iago uses him in his plot to destroy Othello; Iago hints throughout the play that Cassio is having an affair with Othello’s wife, Desdemona. Iago eventually uses Cassio to fuel Othello’s jealousy into murderous anger. The other characters in Act 1 are the duke, the senators, the officer and the messengers.
Cast List on following page… Denzel Washington Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. (born December 28, 1954) is a two-time Academy Award- winning American actor and director. He has garnered much critical acclaim for his portrayals of several real-life figures, such as Steve Biko, Malcolm X, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, Frank Lucas, and Herman Boone. Ian Mckellen Sir Ian Murray Mckellen, CH, CBE (born 25 May 1939) is a British stage and screen actor, the recipient of the Tony Award and two Oscar nominations.
Mckellen is best known to moviegoers in recent years for his roles as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy and as Magneto in the X-Men trilogy. His work has spanned genres from serious Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1979, knighted in the 1991 New Year Honors for his outstanding work and contributions to the theatre. In the 2008 New Year Honors he was made a Companion of Honour (CH) for services to Drama and to Equality. Liv Tyler Liv Tyler (born July 1, 1977) is an American actress and model.
She is perhaps best known for her roles of Grace Stamper in Armageddon and Arwen in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. She is the daughter of Aerosmith’s front man, Steven Tyler. Timothy Spall Timothy Leonard Spall OBE (born February 27, 1957) in Battersea, is an English BAFTA award-nominated film, stage and television actor. Spall, the third of four sons, was born in Battersea, London to a postal worker father and a hairdresser mother. He trained at the National Youth Theatre and RADA, where he was awarded the Bancroft Gold Medal as the most promising actor in his year.
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