What is Roderigo's function in the play?

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enotes | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The first character we encounter in Othello is Roderigo, a foolish suitor for Desdemona's hand, and his first words are in the form of a complaint about Iago's taking money from him on the pretext of using it to advance Roderigo's suit. Roderigo complains about this same issue several times in the course of the play, and on each occasion not only is Iago able to divert Roderigo, he is able to direct him to take an unwitting part in Iago's grander schemes. Ultimately, Iago slays Roderigo. The gullible courtier is emblematic of a Venetian society that is obsessed with material wealth: he is convinced that the money and jewels he gives to Iago can buy Desdemona's love.