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At the beginning of Shakespeare's play Othello, we learn that Roderigo had courted Desdemona. Roderigo is an aristocrat and a Venetian. But these are his only two qualifications as a potential husband for Desdemona.
Roderigo is a dupe, a fool, a bungler. He is in no way equal to Desdemona in intelligence. He is easily manipulated by Iago:
"Thus do I ever make my fool my purse."
He is unable to hold his own against Cassio, who beats him up soundly in Act 2; his attempt to murder Cassio fails in Act 5.
Roderigo pursues Desdemona in a stalker-like way. Even after she has married someone else, Roderigo will not let her go, but with Iago's seeming help tries to break up the marriage. Later when Iago convinces him that Desdemona is in love with Cassio while still being married to Othello, Roderigo incredibly still thinks he can win Desdemona's love. Despite all indications to the contrary, Roderigo thinks he has a chance with Desdemona. Roderigo's infatuation/obsession can hardly be called love.
Early in the play, we learn that Brabantio had declined to entertain Roderigo as a suitor for Desdemona:
"My daughter is not for thee."
Brabantio is right. Roderigo is not intelligent enough, brave enough, or moral enough for the almost angelic Desdemona. No, Desdemona chose correctly. Othello is brave, noble, honorable, respected, smart. Unfortunately he is also trusting and passionate. It is these traits that Iago uses to turn what is a beautiful relationship into a tragic one. Even Iago admits that without Iago's interference, Othello would prove to be a "most dear husband" to Desdemona.
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