"She wished she had not heard it, yet she wished That heaven had made her such a man."
“Reputation is an idle and most false imposition, oft got without merit and lost without deserving”
"To put him to ill thinking. As jealous creatures are, it were enough Is true of mind and made of no such baseness Full of crusadoes. And, but my noble MoorBelieve me, I had rather have lost my purse."
A Moor, and an officer in the Venetian military. Othello is bold and a good warrior, but he is a good man undone by his two main failings - jealousy and pride. Although Othello is very eloquent, he believes his manners and words are both rough.
Iago is young and treacherous; he is a villain from the start, and though he cites his wounded pride and Othello's alleged infidelity with his wife Emilia, his actions are without justification. He is immoral, but very perceptive, keen, and able to manipulate people into falling for his deceptions.
Othello's wife, a young Venetian woman of high birth and good breeding. Desdemona is almost overly virtuous, which causes her to feel that she must defend Cassio, and speak in a public sphere when necessary. She is stronger than Othello believes her to be, and is not the private, withdrawn, meek woman wish she were.
“Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see. She has deceived her father, and may thee.”
Othello's lieutenant, though he has little field experience. Cassio is a smooth-talking Venetian courtier, the opposite of Othello in many respects, which is why Othello admires him. Othello is led to believe that Cassio has had an affair with his wife, though Cassio has only honorable intentions toward Desdemona.
"Reputation, reputation, reputation! Oh, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial."
Iago's wife, and Desdemona's handmaiden. Emilia is not aware of her husband's machinations, nor his darker qualities. She remains loyal to Desdemona above all others, although she unwittingly plays a key part in Iago's treachery.
"Tis not a year or two shows us a man: They are all but stomachs, and we all but food: They eat us hungerly, and when they are full They belch us."
Desdemona's father, a senator and renowned citizen of Venice. He is not at all pleased by Desdemona's union, and warns Othello that as Desdemona betrayed her father, she may betray her husband too.