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Although Brabantio is only in the first act of Shakespeare?s Othello, he serves an important part in setting up key characters and getting the book off the ground. He brings out characteristics in Othello, Desdemona and, the Duke a. He influences the future of Othello and Desdemona?s relationship, and sets the pace and tone of the novel. Shakespeare makes a non-excessive use of all of his characters, not letting them linger about for a pointless use, which is why his stories are so well paced and exuberant. Brabantio?s roll is a perfect example of this.
Brabantio sets up several characters introductions and brings out key qualities and characteristics in others. Most importantly he shows us the type of life Desdemona has been living before we know much about her: ?Fathers, from hence trust not your daughters? minds/ by what you see them act.? He says in the first scene, reminiscent of our modern idea of an overbearing, suburban father, one who trusts his daughter, but holds her to a high standard, expecting her to do everything right. In accusing Othello of witchcraft he brings out Othello?s honesty and modesty, his background as a constant warrior, and his kindness towards Desdemona. In accusing Othello of the thievery, Brabantio, out the fair qualities of the duke, giving Othello and Brabantio a chance to explain themselves. The first and second scenes are almost all about Othello and Desdemona?s newfound relationship, and Brabantio is able to shed some new light upon it, and the society portrayed in the play. He forces an explanation out of Othello, to clear up for the reader, how he and Desdemona met and where their relationship is going. He is the second character to highlight ?undertones? of racism laden throughout the play, the simple lines ?Oh, I wish you had her!? --which he speaks to Brabantio after learning of Othello and Desdemona's escapades-- insists that any man would be better for his daughter than a black man. After making one of his strongest statements in his small roll, he obliterates his entire purpose in the play by exiling himself from Desdemona.His final roll in the play is to influence the future of Desdemona and Othello?s relationship. He casts her from his chasm of doom and withdraws her from his fatherly discretion. Although an act like this would seem to draw Desdemona closer to Othello?as she says sweetly ?I am hitherto your daughter. But here's my husband/And so much duty as my mother showed/To you preferring you before her father/So much I challenge that I may profess/Due to the moor my lord.? she says this like she is still the same girl her Father had always known?but that cliché is not relevant, as we see later in the novel, is almost the opposite. By setting her free of his watchful eye, she loses guidance; she becomes a tricky, conniving slut. Her freedom unleashes characteristics and urges she has had, all along. She turns into a flirt, like a young college girl void of guidance.
Brabantio has an influence that lasts throughout the entire novel. Although he doesn?t remain physically active in the rest of the play he is in fact, there in spirit. ?She is dead to me,? he says, and the relationship works both ways.

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