William Shakespeare, Othello

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Othello was performed at court on 1 November 1604 and was first printed in 1622. This powerful story of a black General impelled by jealousy to kill his white wife has held the boards ever since, for, unlike many Shakespearean dramas, it was not adapted in the Restoration and has remained popular all over the world. Shakespeare took his plot from Giraldi Cinthio's Hecatommithi (1565), “Third Decade, Seventh Story”, but he made major modifications to his source material. 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 lovers' relationship, as well as the villain's plans …

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Citation: Vaughan, Virginia Mason. "Othello". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 October 2000; last revised 27 January 2019. [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=3009, accessed 21 September 2023.]

3009 Othello 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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