Who Dies In Othello

Who dies because of Iago's plot in Othello?

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robertwilliam's profile pic

robertwilliam | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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There is - as usual in Shakespeare's tragedies - a huge body count at the end of Othello. In the scene in the dark, Cassio is wounded in the leg, and Roderigo is killed by Iago in the dark.

In the final scene, Othello (thinking she has cuckolded him with Cassio) murders Desdemona; and, in another husband-murders-wife parallel, when she speaks out about what he has done, Iago murders Emilia. Othello then kills himself. Iago is taken off to be tortured but - as the curtain falls - is still not killed.

santeria's profile pic

santeria | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

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Roderigo was roped along in the plan, Iago used him for his stupidity and affection for Desdemona. Then when he is no longer needed Iago disposed of him. Emilia was stabbed in the back- Iago expected her to be loyal to him rather than Desdemona after his plan is revealed. Desdemona, obviously, was used- her kind nature led to her downfall, even though it was not Iago who directly killed her. Then obviously there's Othello, however we can't entirely blame Iago for his death otherwise he would technically lose his "tragic hero" status.

Brabantio also dies, but this is grief of losing his daughter to Othello. (no idea why I added that, but, there you go)

Cassio is left for dead, whether he dies or not is not essential- technically he is still a victim of Iago.

And the most chilling thing is that Iago is left standing at the end of the play. This is not the case in any other Shakespeare tragedy... it kind of gives the impression that he is the devil and cannot be killed.

Hope this wasn't totally useless...

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