Background for Othello

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Machiavellian Devil:
Nichollo Machiavelli was an Italian philosopher and author that lived in Florence.
Best known work was `The Prince' which was a book on power maintenance and
morality. It suggests that the desired effect could be achieved through immoral action.
Machiavellianism is the employment of cunning and duplicity in general conduct and state
Machiavellian intelligence is the manipulation of social groups to advantage.
Mystery plays:
They are the retelling of bible stories like Noah's Flood.
They often travelled and were put on in town squares.
Mainly poetry.
God was a character rather than just being heard of.
Not many characters, they only consisted of protagonists.
Women 16th / 17th century:
Professions were closed to women.
They din't attend school (no education)
Women were mostly house wives and domestic servants.
Supposed to obey husbands.
Must have some knowledge of medicine to treat families.
Rich women stayed in the house and supervised servants.
Married women were unable to possess property.
Religion 16th / 17th century:
The law stated that everybody belonged to the Church of England.
Henry VIII separated from Roman church to divorce Catherine.
Every ruler of England was head of church.
When Henry died Edward pushed England to Calvinism.
When Edward dies Mary took over in favor of Catholicism.
This meant there was a divide between Anglican / Catholic religions which led to the civil
Venice 16th century:
Wealth was important for colonial power.
Life centered on trade.
Slaves of Venice came from North Africa.
It was the music center of Europe.
Venetians were encouraged to do whatever possible to help state e.g spying.
Otherness Said (racial prejudice):
Othello called "Moor" which is associated with evil.
Identity is considered lacking.
Subject to discrimination.
Relates to cultural politics, gender and ethnicity.
White group is considered superior to other races.


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