Shakespeares - Othello
Othello takes place in Venice (in northern Italy) and Cyprus (an island in the eastern Mediterranean about forty miles south of present-day Turkey). The time is between 1489 and 1571.
3 Facts on Shakespeare:
One of Shakespeare’s relatives on his mother’s side, William Arden, was arrested for plotting against Queen Elizabeth I, imprisoned in the Tower of London and executed. Almost four hundred years after Shakespeare’s death there are 157 million pages referring to him on Google. There are 132 million for God, 2.7 million for Elvis Presley, and coming up on Shakespeare’s heels, George W Bush with 14.7 million. Shakespeare has been credited by the Oxford English Dictionary with introducing almost 3,000 words to the English language. Estimations of his vocabulary range from 17,000 to a dizzying 29,000 words – at least double the number of words used by the average conversationalist.
3 Facts on Othello:
One performance of Othello, produced in 1660, starred an actress by the name of Margaret Hughes in the role of Desdemona. This production is of particular importance because it marked the first time a woman was accepted on the English stage. Before this, all the characters, whether male or female, were played exclusively by men. Tragically, during a performance of Othello at Covent Garden in 1833, Edmund Kean collapsed on stage into the arms of his son who was playing Iago, and died a few weeks later. Othello has made the transition from stage to film over twenty times this century, and from stage to television at least five times.
Venice, it is interesting to note, is the setting for both major Shakespeare plays dealing in part with racial prejudice, Othello, and The Merchant of Venice. As one of the world’s leading sea powers, Venice was the center of commercialism and materialism and, therefore, corruption and conflict arising from avarice, social status, and fierce competition. ...
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