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OTHELLO - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Venice controlled the island of Cyprus from 1489-1570. The island was a place for ... Othello is asked to help defend Cyprus against the Ottoman Turks. ...

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Presentation Transcript

Othello l.jpg


Historical context

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  • Othello takes place in two countries:

    • Venice

    • Cyprus

  • The Republic of Venice existed from 727-1797.

    • It is located in present-day Italy.

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Geography (cont’d)

  • Venice controlled the island of Cyprus from 1489-1570.

    • The island was a place for commerce and a good location for the Venetian fleet in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea.

  • Cyprus was lost to the Turks in 1571.

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Cyprus is located east of Italy, in the

Mediterranean Sea. It is just south of Turkey.


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Geography in the play othello l.jpg

Geography in the Play Othello

  • Othello is asked to help defend Cyprus against the Ottoman Turks.

  • Desdemona accompanies Othello to Cyprus.

    • It is unusual that a woman would go with her husband on military business.

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Types of People in Othello

  • Venetians

    • Most are noblemen and women (Brabantio, Desdemona, Roderigo)

    • Also, there are the nobles’ servants (Emilia)

    • Some are soldiers (Othello, Cassio, Iago)

    • Others are part of Venetian government (the Duke)

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Types of People (cont’d)

  • Moors

    • Black nomadic people of the northern shores of Africa, originally the inhabitants of Mauretania

    • Converted to Islam in the 8th century

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Moors (cont’d)

  • Invaded Spain in 711 and dominated until the 11th century

  • had great dynasties up until 1492, when the last of their cities was conquered by Spain

  • virtually exterminated by Spain during the Inquisition (late 1400s-1820)

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Moors (cont’d)

  • Othello is a Moor

    • Discriminated against because of his race (black)

    • Othello has been accepted in some ways because he is a Christian and a military genius

    • Yet his marriage to Desdemona reflects the prevailing view toward interracial marriage.

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Works Cited

  • Chronological History of Cyprus. 2001. Ege Universitesi. 9 Feb. 2005 <http://bornova


  • Derhak, Dean. Muslim Spain and European Culture. 2000. Muslim Spain and European Culture. 9 Feb. 2005 <http://www.xmission.com/~dderhak/


  • Shakespeare, William. Othello. New York: Putnam,


  • The Venetian Period in Cyprus. 2001. Ege Universitesi. 9 Feb. 2005 <http://bornova


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