The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice

Summary and review of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy, Othello.

This paper gives background information on Shakespeare’s play, “Othello”, and then summarizes its plot. The paper also describes the main characters in the play and then uses quotations made by each of the described characters to support the descriptions.
“The play takes place against the backdrop of the wars between Venice and Turkey during the late sixteenth century. The setting for most of the action is Cyprus, which was a Venetian outpost attacked and eventually conquered by the Turks in 1570. According to the sixth addition of the Colombia Encyclopedia, most of the information derived by Shakespeare about the Venetian-Turkish conflict was derived from “The History of the Turks”by Richard Knolles, published in England in 1603. Additionally, Shakespeare is said to have derived material for his play from an Italian tale written by Giovanni Battista Giraldi Cinzio in 1565. The original story contains the bare bones of Shakespeare’s plot wherein a Moorish general is tricked by his ensign into thinking that his wife is adulterous. Shakespeare added supporting characters to Cinzio’s such as the rich young fool Roderigo and the livid and broken hearted Brabanzio, who is Desdemona’s father.”

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