How does Montano react to the news that Othello is about to take his place as governor of Cyprus in Othello?

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teachersage eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act II, scene 1, Montano expresses his approval of Othello becoming governor, calling him "worthy." Later, he will refer to him as brave. Having served under him, Montano respects Othello as a  good soldier and a fine commander. When he hears that Othello, who has not yet arrived, might be caught in a storm, he says he hopes Othello will be safe:

Pray heavens he be,
For I have served him, and the man commands
Like a full soldier. 
Montano's good feelings and respect towards Othello show early in the play the trust important people place in him as a person of courage and character. Iago, therefore, knows not to undermine Othello directly to Montano. Instead, Iago works to suggest to Montano that Cassio, Othello's lieutenant and right-hand man, is an alcoholic, so that when Iago wounds Montano, he has an easy time making the decision to replace him with Iago. 
mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Othello, Act II, scene ii, Montano welcomes Othello as his replacement:

I am glad on't; 'tis [he is] a worthy governor.

He has had good news on this day of his retirement: the Turkish fleet, enemies to the city-state of Venice, is sunk and defeated.  The island Cyprus is in the good hands of the Venitian army.  He had no doubt been nervous of the threat of an impending invasion from the Turks.

Contrary to Iago, Montano is not jealous of the Moor.  He even hangs around and drinks with some of his men.  He does take exception to getting stabbed by the drunk Cassio, but other than that, he welcomes his civilian life.