Othello context


Othello context


  • First performed by the King’s Men at court of King James I on November 1 1604
  • Written in Shakespear’e great tragic period which included works of Hamlet and Macbeth. 
  • The war between the Turks and Christians (Venetian state) provides a symbolic backdrop to Othello's tragedy. Cyprus is vulnerable and isolated, like Othello.
  • Set against the backdrop of the wars between Venice and turkey in the 16th century. Cyprus was the main setting for the action and was attacked by the Turks in 1570 and conquered. The historical context of Othello derives of Shakespeare’s knowledge of the war at the time
  • Othello derives from the Italian prose tale from 1565 by Giovanni Battista Giraldi Cinzio about a Moor deceived by his deputy that his wife is unfaithful however Shakespeare added the supporting characters of Roderigo and Brabantio.
  • Women in the Renaissance had few legal rights, and their life choices were commonly dictated


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