Shakespeare wrote "Othello" to chronicle the political and racial tensions between Europeans and non-Europeans during the 17th century. Furthermore, it is widely believed that the play was written particularly to suit the interests of King James I, who had an interest in Turkish history and customs.Continue Reading
The play is unique in featuring a Muslim black man as the main protagonist, thus making the work highly relevant in response to the Elizabethan era's racial policies towards the Moors. Although blacks were not yet regarded as slaves during that time, they had been recently deported after having just been granted diplomatic rights by Queen Elizabeth in 1601. This was due largely to fears of overpopulation, and despite the slave trade not yet being established, the black race was considered inferior during the writing of "Othello." For this reason, "Othello" is considered a groundbreaking cultural work for its time, as a black Moor is depicted as a civilized, noble, Christian protagonist, which forced its audiences to reconsider racial status during the early 16th century.
However, while "Othello" may had been novel in its racial representation in Shakespeare's day, it is no longer considered a wholly original literary work. It is widely held that Shakespeare wrote "Othello" based on a short story by Italian author Cinthio Giambattista Giraldi in 1584.Learn more about Classics
It is unknown exactly how much money Shakespeare made in his lifetime, though he was wealthy enough to purchase New Place, which was the second largest home in Stratford. He was also wealthy enough to buy 107 acres of farmland and a Chapel Lane cottage.Full Answer >
William Shakespeare is famous for being one of the greatest English writers in history. He was a playwright, poet and actor who lived in the late 16th and early 17th century.Full Answer >
English playwright William Shakespeare was born and died in Stratford-upon-Avon, a countryside town approximately 100 miles northwest of London, but spent most of his time in London. Shakespeare was born in 1564, likely April 23, and went to grammar school in Stratford, which is located in the county of Warwickshire.Full Answer >
William Shakespeare was inspired to write "Romeo and Juliet" by a poem titled "Romeus and Juliet" by Arthur Brooks. In fact, Shakespeare's play shares many of the details of Brooks' poem. The story, however, was a commonly told one throughout Europe and was not unique to Brooks either.Full Answer >