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Emilia is Iago's wife, and serves as Desdemona's lady-in-waiting. She is therefore a central character in the play, because she is close to both Desdemona and Iago. In a very real sense, she is as caught up in the intrigues, plotting, and betrayal as any character in the play. It is Emilia who takes, at Iago's request, the handkerchief that the wicked Iago uses to convince Othello that his wife is having an affair with Michael Cassio. But it is also Emilia who exposes Iago's treachery once she becomes aware of it, and who castigates Othello for his foolishness in believing the gentle Desdemona capable of such dishonesty. Iago murders her in the final scene for revealing his plot. Both because of her situation and her strength, she is one of the most important characters in the play.
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