Why might Shakespeare decided to set Othello in Cyprus?Cyprus is an isolated outpost of the Venetian trading empire. Why might Shakespeare decdied to set Othello mainly in such a place? (think...

Why might Shakespeare decided to set Othello in Cyprus?

Cyprus is an isolated outpost of the Venetian trading empire. Why might Shakespeare decdied to set Othello mainly in such a place? (think about Iago's manipulaltion)

 

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I also think that Shakespeare set his plays in exotic locations like Verona, Cyrus and other interesting places because he wanted to entertain and transport his audience. A good story is one thing, but a good story in a new place is better! This is also one reason why he made Othello a Moor.
vangoghfan's profile pic

vangoghfan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Iago may have more opportunity to manipulate Othello on Cyprus than in Venice. In Venice, Othello would be surrounded by many more people who know him. These people might have been able to give him advice about his wife (since many there would know her, too) and might have beeen able to counteract the influence of Iago. On Cyprus, Othello is relatively isolated from friends other than Iago, who is, of course, not a true friend at all.

kiwi's profile pic

kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

Cyprus was a vital island, prone to attack due to its position. The island of Cyprus could be said to symbolize Othello himself: it is distinct from Venice though a valued part of its empire. Similarly, Othello is not a Venetian but is a very important part of the strategic defence team protecting the nation. Also, Othello is prone to attack -from Benvolio at the beginning of the play and by evil Iago throughout.

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