The Moors in Shakespeare’s Time Moors were seen as exotic and strange; they were almost considered something other than human. It was a status symbol among the nobility and upper class to have a Moorish servant or page. The origin of the word Moor comes from the word mauri. Mauri refers to the Berbers who lived in the Roman province of Mauritania, in North Africa.
Othello The Main Characters: Othello Othello is a Moor from North Africa. He has been promoted to the rank of general in the Venetian army. He has the respect and admiration of the Duke and council of Venice. He loves Desdemona, the daughter of a senator.
Iago The Main Characters: Iago Iago is Othello’s second in command. He’s angry because Othello gave the promotion of lieutenant to Cassio. Iago tells us that his mission in life is to ruin Othello. He is an enemy who pretends to be a friend to Othello.
Desdemona The Main Characters: Desdemona Desdemona is seriously in love with Othello, and he loves her. Her father is a high ranking senator who, although he admires Othello, would never allow his daughter to marry a man of another race. Desdemona defies her father by eloping with Othello although he is older than she.
Roderigo The Main Characters: Roderigo Roderigo, poor sap, is head over heels in love with Desdemona. He finds out about her elopement and falls apart. Iago, who is only using Roderigo for his money, talks him into telling Desdemona’s father about her marriage. Roderigo
Cassio The Main Characters: Cassio Cassio is a “ladies’ man” who is Othello’s best friend and helped him win Desdemona’s love. Cassio and Desdemona flirt in a friendly way, and Othello knows it. Cassio got the promotion Iago thought should be his, so Iago turns into Cassio’s “frenemy” too. Cassio