William Shakespeare: Othello

(2071 words)
  • Virginia Mason Vaughan (Clark University)

Composed sometime between 1602 and 1604, Othello was performed at court on 1 November 1604. 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 adapted his tragedy 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 to destroy …

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Citation:
Mason Vaughan, Virginia. "Othello". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 October 2000
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=3009, accessed 16 April 2014.]


Related Groups

  1. English Renaissance Theatre - Jacobean