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Othello: The Moor of Venice is a play by Shakespeare written about 1603. Othello is a tragedy, like Hamlet, Macbeth and King Lear. Shakespeare probably wrote Othello after Hamlet but before the latter two. It was performed for the first time on November 1, 1604 at Whitehall Palace in London.

The title character, Othello, is presented sympathetically despite his race. This is unusual for English literature of Shakespeare's time, which commonly depicted Moors and other dark-skinned peoples as villains. Shakespeare avoids any discussion of Islam in the play.

The plot: Othello, who elopes with Desdemona at the play's opening, leaves Venice to command the Venetian armies in Cyprus. When Desdemona and Cassio join Othello in Cyprus, the treacherous Iago persuades Othello that Desdemona has been unfaithful to him with Cassio. Othello kills Desdemona in anger. Iago's wife, Emilia, then reveals that Desdemona's affair was an invention of Iago's. Iago kills Emilia and Othello commits suicide. Cassio rules Cyprus and Iago's punishment is left for Cassio to decide.

Note: The plot was developed from Giraldo Cinthio's Hecatommithi.

See also: Othello list of characters,

External links

Movie versions

Othello was also made into a movie several times, including:

The same story is the basis for two operatic versions, called Otello, by Gioacchino Rossini and Giuseppe Verdi.

See also: Othello board games.