Othello – Context and Setting

The renaissance The rebirth of art and intellectual endeavours. It is part called ‘the golden age’ of English literature.
Drama and the renaissance Shakespeare’s drama came as innovative and challenging in the way of the renaissance. Assertive heroines, critical and rebellious characters .
Nationalisim Attitudes towards foreigners . Venice seen as a place of refinement, romance and civilisation but also as a place of decadence, villainy and vice.
Venice Seen as an intriguing place of love and revenge. Foreign courts were seen as being full of villainy and sexual perversion. Venice serves as a setting to show how Othello is an outsider .
Cyprus Warlike island under occupation. The conflict and danger of the setting is shown in the events which unfold there. The isolation of the island shows the psychological damage with the deaths caused there. The symbolism of Cyprus being isolated and vunerable in the 1600s is represented by Othello.
Patriarchy Social hierarchy of the Elizabethan age. Women remained controlled by the patriarchy during the renaissance. Desdemona’s submission to Othello.
War the war between the Turks and Venetians shows a symbolic backdrop to Othello’s tragedy.
Greek tragedy Shakespeare uses features from traditional Greek tragedy, Othello suffering from the fatal flaw of pride, Iago having the revenge tragedy, a scheming Machiavel.

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