Foil Characters in Othello In literature, a foil is a character who serves to highlight at least one trait in another character by directly contrasting it. Generally foils contrast the protagonist of the story, but in this text they help to emphasize particular qualities of a number of important characters. Consider the four characters below. In what ways do particular traits of one man contrast those in another? How does each one individually impact Othello? Now consider the timeline of the story and when each of these characters plays his role in the text. What do you notice? How do their roles coincide with Othello’s experience and subsequent development? Othello Iago Roderigo Cassio What other characters could work as foils of one another? Remember, they only need to have one contrasting trait, but it needs to be a distinctive one.