Who Is Brabantio And What News Do Roderigo And Iago Bring Him?

Updated 30 September, 2023
Brabantio is Desdemona’s father. He is a very powerful Christian Venetian Senator who has a very high reputation.
Detailed answer:

Brabantio is a very powerful Christian Venetian Senator who has a very high reputation. Although Brabantio seems overprotective, the cultural critical lens shows that he is quite racist, and very controlling about his daughter’s decisions.
Brabantio is first introduced in Act 1 Scene 1, where Iago and Roderigo wake him up at his home. Iago and Roderigo tell him that thieves have stolen something from him, but in fact none of it is true. Brabantio doesn’t really believe it either, but when he sees Roderigo he becomes angry and says “The worser welcome. I have charged thee not to haunt about my doors. In honest plainness thou hast heard me say My daughter is not for thee…”. He is mad because Roderigo tried to get with Desdemona in the past. Iago then tells him that Othello and Desdemona got married which shocks him and it enrages him even more, and he is very surprised. He can’t believe his daughter would go against his wishes. Brabantio doesn’t realize he’s actually being manipulated by Iago and Roderigo.
Brabantio is used to being in control. After all he is a Senator, and he gets what he wants when he wants it, so when his daughter goes against his best wishes he would obviously be angry. Brabantio’s view on marriage is that he’s in control and no one goes against him. The marriage customs back then were that the men made decisions and they chose who married their daughters. Brabantio thinks that his daughter is his property, which could mean that he sees his daughter’s marriage as a potential business transaction and he thinks he will get something out of it, which is money.
Additionally, Brabantio has many racial prejudices against Othello. In Scene 1 he says “It is too true an evil. Gone she is, And what’s to come of my despisèd time Is naught but bitterness.—Now, Roderigo, Where didst thou see her?—O, unhappy girl!— With the Moor, sayst thou?—…”. This is the first glimpse where Brabantio’s views on Othello Moors take place and it gives deeper insight on how Moors are viewed in society.
To sum up, Desdemona’s father, Brabantio, is depicted as overprotective and controlling person with racist views.

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