Duke of Venice

"There is no composition in these news / That gives them credit" (1.3.1-2) exclaims the Duke at the opening of the only scene in which he appears. He is trying to make sense of the various reports about the Turkish threat to Cyprus. Moments later, Othello and Brabantio enter, and Brabantio charges Othello with using drugs or magic on Desdemona. At first the Duke is sympathetic to Brabantio, but after he has heard from Othello he tries to persuade Brabantio to reconcile himself to the marriage. He seems to be quite free of Brabantio's prejudice, and just as everyone is leaving he tells Brabantio that "If virtue no delighted beauty lack, / Your son-in-law is far more fair than black" (1.3.289-290). [Scene Summary]