Frequent question: Why did Shakespeare set Othello in Venice and Cyprus?

Othello is set in Venice, presumably sometime in the latter half of the sixteenth-century. Venice was at war with the Ottoman empire between 1570 and 1573, so the play’s reference to the threat of an attack on Cyprus could reflect a setting sometime during this period.

What do Venice and Cyprus represent in Othello?

In Othello, Venice symbolizes patriarchal rationality, while Cyprus symbolizes passion that runs unchecked.

Why did Shakespeare place the setting in Venice?

By William Shakespeare

Venice is an exciting, cosmopolitan setting for the play because it’s a hotspot for trade. While Jews had been legally banned from England since 1290, Venice had laws in place to protect non-Venetian traders who supported the city’s economic well-being.

What does Cyprus symbolize in Othello?

In Othello, Venice represents civilization, while Cyprus symbolizes the wilderness.

Is Othello a Turk?

When, at the end of the play, Othello views himself as a Turk, he ratifies European perceptions of the treacherous and destructive Mus- lim Other at the same time that he draws the audience’s attention to the religion of the Other to which both Turk and Moor are historically and culturally linked.

What does Venice symbolize?

The Lion of Venice is an ancient bronze winged lion sculpture in the Piazza San Marco of Venice, Italy, which came to symbolize the city – as well as one of its patron saints, St Mark – after its arrival there in the 12th century.

Lion of Venice.

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The Lion of Venice
The Lion of Venice
Artist Unknown
Year Circa 300 BC
Type Bronze

Why was Cyprus important to Venice?

The Republic of Venice had controlled Cyprus since 1489. The Venetians profited from the island’s production of exports like sugar, cotton, and wine, and they had a longstanding arrangement with Egyptian rulers who protected Venetian interests on the island from Ottoman invaders.

Why does Roderigo want to drown himself?

He wants to kill himself because the woman he loves has now married another man, and there is no hope for Roderigo, even though Desdemona’s father has opined that he would have preferred Roderigo to have married his daughter after all.

What is Shylock’s real motive?

Shylock is hoping that the ships will not come in and he will be able to hurt (and probably kill) Antonio.

What was Venice like in Othello?

As a setting, Venice serves Shakespeare’s needs of a place where a non-European, and potentially non-Christian, man could both hold significant authority but still be distrusted. A second factor which may have informed Shakespeare’s decision to set his play in Venice was the city’s reputation as a hub of prostitution.

What does the willow tree symbolize in Othello?

The symbolic meaning of the willow tree is essential for the image of the character. Being a symbol of a woman left by her lover, willow is the reflection of Desdemona. As a physical embodiment of grief, it helps readers understand the innocence of Othello’s wife.

Sunny Cyprus