What does the confrontation between Bianca and Cassio revealĀ about Cassio's character?

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Cassio's relations with Bianca give the reader or viewer a very bad impression of his character. Bianca seems to love him, but he is only using her and he despises her because she allows him to do so. It is almost painful to watch the scenes in which he treats her so contemptuously, while at the same time he loses the reader/viewer's sympathy. He is actually sadistic. No one except Desdemona could care whether such a heartless man would regain Othello's trust. It is hard to understand how he could have risen so high in the first place. When Othello commits suicide, Cassio ends up being appointed governor of Cyrpus. This man seems to have nine lives, like a cat. Obviously he has important social connections in Venice who are protecting him. He comes across as a selfish, incompetent fop and an incorrigible womanizer. His womanizing and braggadocio make it easy for Iago to convince Othello that Cassio is carrying on an affair with Desdemona. No man should trust Cassio with his wife. He seems perfectly capable of seducing Desdemona if he could get by with it.


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