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In Act 1, Scene 2 of Shakespeare's Othello, amidst all of the accusations and outrage towards Othello's marraige to Desdemona, Othello is called into a meeting with the Duke of Venice about official state business. The Duke has recieved word that a large number of Turkish ships are approaching the island of Cyprus- though the exact number of ships is desputed. Othello is then deployed by the Duke to Cyprus to defend the island because Othello is the general of the Venetian army. You should also note that the entire rest of the play takes place in Cyprus. I am attaching a link to the Othello reference page, which includes not only summaries and character analysis, but the entire text and stradegies for reading it, as Shakespeare's language can get quite flowery and difficult to understand at times. 

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