What Was Brabantio’s Reaction to Othello’s Marriage to Desdemona?
When Brabantio, Desdemona’s father, realizes that his daughter has married Othello, his reaction is rage. Going to where Othello is meeting with the Venetian Senators, Brabantio accuses Othello of using sorcery to seduce his daughter.
Brabantio is upset because Othello is not Venetian but Moorish. How, he asks, could a maid so “tender, fair, and happy” go to “to the sooty bosom / Of such a thing as thou” unless magic is involved. Othello defends himself, saying that it was with his war stories, not spells, that he seduced Desdemona. The Duke of Venice is convinced by his defense and by Desdemona’s testimony, and he judges the marriage legal. Upset but resigned, Brabantio leaves, but he warns Othello that Desdemona may deceive him one day, planting a seed of the fear of betrayal that later blooms with tragic results.