Why did Shakespeare write Othello?

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If you read the entire Shakespeare canon, you become aware that Shakespeare was obsessed with female infidelity. This is dealt with not only in the plays, but also in the sonnets: "When my love swears that she is made of truth/I do believe her, though I know she lies" (Sonnet 138). The image of the "horns" of the cuckold appears over and over again in his work.

Where this obsession came from, we can never really know, although scholars continue to speculate. Perhaps the "Dark Lady" of the sonnets was flagrantly unfaithful? In any case, in Othello, Shakespeare examines how jealousy and suspicion can poison a true love and the consequences of allowing an unfounded obsession to dominate action. Desdemona is a true innocent, and she suffers and dies because of Othello's fears, incited by the sublimely evil Iago.

Shakespeare clearly also wanted to continue to explore the concept of a simply evil man, something he had already dealt with to some degree in Richard III . However, in that...

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