Othello Essay | Social Origins of "Othello"

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Social Origins of "Othello"

Summary: Discusses the social origins of "Othello" by William Shakespeare.
Shakespeare adapted Othello from Giraldi Cinthio's "Hecatommithi," but he altered the original story. The central point of Cinthio's story is that one should look for marriage partners from the same ethnic and cultural background, whereas Shakespeare's play explores the relationship of the lovers, as well as the villain's plans to destroy that relationship.

The opening act of Othello takes place in Venice, but the primary setting is Cyprus. Venice is a city-state of enormous wealth and the center of Christian resistance to the Turks, Venice was an important port, like London, and there was commercial competition between the two. Its trade was being blocked by the growing power of the Turkish Empire in the 16th Century, which extended into Europe, Asia and Arabia. It had an ethnically mixed population and a reputation as the sex capital of Europe. The city's women were considered loose so it...

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This section contains 828 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Student Essay on Social Origins of "Othello"
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