Brabantio is one of the secondary characters of Othello. He is a noble Venetian senator and Desdemona’s father. The readers first meet him in act 1, scene 1. Here, Iago and Roderigo tell him that Desdemona secretly married Othello.
Brabantio is the father of Desdemona, the woman who is desirable by many men. He serves as a senator, and he is among the oldest and wisest members of the Senate. He admires Othello’s military achievements, so the Moor is a frequent guest at his house. During those meetings, Desdemona and Othello fall in love with each other. Trying to prevent judgments, they secretly marry each other. However, the secret soon reveals. Iago and Roderigo tell the truth to Brabantio.
The news about the couple makes Brabantio furious. As a result, Brabantio dies in act 5 because of grief caused by Desdemona’s marriage with Othello. He believed that Othello bewitched his daughter because he could not explain their love. He exclaims to the Moor:
“O thou foul thief, where hast thou stow’d my daughter?
Damn’d as thou art, thou hast enchanted her;
Judge me the world, if ’tis not gross in sense
That thou hast practised on her with foul charms,
Abused her delicate youth with drugs or minerals
That weaken motion: I’ll have’t disputed on.”
(Act 1, scene 2)
Thus, Brabantio is a racist because of his hatred towards the relationship, which escalated between Desdemona and Othello.
Confident in his conclusion, he accuses Othello of witchcraft. However, Desdemona defends her lover by claiming that she genuinely loves the Moor. Although Brabantio accepted the feelings his daughter had towards Othello with great difficulty, he still disowned her and said that Desdemona would bring death to Othello. His words are what ultimately drove the main villain and what was a precursor of Desdemona’s death. As mentioned in act 5, he died not long after losing his daughter.