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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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othello

OTHELLO

Historical context

geography
Geography
  • Othello takes place in two countries:
    • Venice
    • Cyprus
  • The Republic of Venice existed from 727-1797.
    • It is located in present-day Italy.
geography cont d
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.
slide5

Cyprus is located east of Italy, in the

Mediterranean Sea. It is just south of Turkey.

http://geography.about.com/library/cia/nccyprus.htm

slide6

h

http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/eu.htm

geography in the play othello
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.
types of people in othello
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)
types of people cont d
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
moors cont d
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)
moors cont d11
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.
works cited
Works Cited
  • Chronological History of Cyprus. 2001. Ege Universitesi. 9 Feb. 2005 <http://bornova

.ege.edu.tr/~ncyprus/cyp1.html>.

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

index/moors.htm>.

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

Inc.1963.

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

.ege.edu.tr/~ncyprus/venedik.html>.

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