What is Lodovico's function in the play?

enotes | Student

Lodovico appears for the first time as an emissary to Cyprus from the Duke of Venice in Act IV, Scene 1. He inquires casually about the situation on the island, but immediately witnesses Othello strike Desdemona. Lodovico is shocked by Othello's behavior, asking the rhetorical question: "Is this the noble Moor whom our full Senate / Call all in all sufficient?" (IV.i.265-266). As a neutral observer, his comment highlights the dramatic devolution that Othello has suffered under Iago's spell. Lodovico cannot prevent the tangle of evil that occurs in the last two acts of the play. He does relieve Othello of his office and appoints Cassio as the governor of Cyprus before Othello's suicide. It is to Lodovico that the task of passing summary judgment upon Iago falls, as he pledges to go straight back to the state of Venice to report what has occurred. In this sense, Lodovico represents the return of civil order to Cyprus, albeit too late for Iago's victims.