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OTHELLO - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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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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Historical context

  • 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.

Cyprus is located east of Italy, in the

Mediterranean Sea. It is just south of Turkey.





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


  • 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