Roderigo in Othello: Character Analysis & Quotes

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  • 0:00 Introducing Iago
  • 0:29 Character Analysis
  • 2:56 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shamekia Thomas

Shamekia has taught English at the secondary level and has her doctoral degree in clinical psychology.

Roderigo is a minor character in William Shakespeare's play 'Othello.' He is a rich man who pursues the wrong woman and is friendly with the wrong man. Learn more about the character Roderigo in this lesson.

Introducing Iago

What would you do for love? Would you give all you have in pursuit of the person of your dreams? Would you put your trust in someone else to make your romantic dreams come true? If your love is not returned to you, it might cause you to behave in uncharacteristic ways. In William Shakespeare's popular play Othello, a man named Roderigo places his romantic future in the hands of a trusted friend but ends up losing his money and his life.

Character Analysis

The play Othello begins with an argument between two men, Iago and Roderigo. Roderigo is upset because he has learned the woman he wants to love, Desdemona has married another man, Othello. Roderigo states, 'never tell me; I take it much unkindly, that thou, Iago, who hast had my purse, as if the strings were thine, shouldst know of this' (Act 1, Scene 1, lines 1-3). Roderigo feels his friend Iago, who is helping him win the love of Desdemona, should know about what is happening in Desdemona's life. Iago defends himself by explaining Desdemona's marriage to Othello was sudden, and he had no knowledge of it. In order to protect his interests, Iago convinces Roderigo to inform Desdemona's father of his daughter's new marriage to cause friction.

When Roderigo gives Iago jewelry to take to Desdemona, Iago sells the jewelry for money. When Roderigo realizes he no longer has the chance to marry Desdemona, he decides he will drown himself. Iago talks him out of harming himself and instead suggests that he trick Desdemona into going to bed with him by dressing in disguise and having lots of money, which he agrees to do.

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