The Shakespearean play Othello opens in Venice but ended in Cyprus. The play is centred around 18 th century in the city of Venice. The play has links with early modern politics and pre-modern natural philosophy. The setting is contemporary and there are vivid descriptions of the immediate environment, serenity and orderliness of the city’s administration that Brabantio said “… this is Venice, my house is not a grange”. Othello and Brabantio finally settled their differences on Desdemona’s marriage before the senate where they overruled in favour of Othello and there was no uproar. This is an indication that the political setting of Venice was stable and orderly.
On the social setting, we have the issues of racial prejudice gender relations and the pathology of violence. By calling him the moor of Venice, Shakespeare defines Othello as a paradox, one in who two opposed cultures are improbably conjoined. Being a Christian and black African, Othello is both of and not of Venice which was the epitome of Western civilization at that time.
From a religious perspective, Othello had been located within the tragic history of early Christendom. Cyprus is said to have been a place of mythic and symbolic associations.
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