Othello Background Quiz

The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice Othello’s full Name
Apri 23rd, 1564-1616 years of William Shakespeare’s life
Stratford-on-Avon Shakespeare’s birthplace
Anne Hathaway Shakespeare’s wife
shot gun wedding- she was pregnant wedding of shakespeare and wife
Susannah + twins: Judith, and Hamnet (died at 11) Shakespeare’s children
1592 year Shakespeare left his family behind and moved to London
Lord Chamberlain’s Men Shakespeare’s first acting company
The Globe theater/play house for Lord Chamberlain’s Men
The King’s Men Shakespeare’s second acting company named after King James
37 how many plays Shakespeare wrote
tragedies, histories, comedies types of plays Shakespeare wrote
154 number of sonnets Shakespeare wrote; most of them dedicated to a “fair youth,” others to a “dark lady”
3000 how many words shakespeare invented
Blank verse unrhymed, iambic pentameter – what Shakespeare used in his plays; used it for richer classes
iambic unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable
pentameter 5 iambs per line
his language and the way it can be read on so many different levels as well as his character development (insight into human psychology) what’s so remarkable about Shakespeare
The Poetics Aristotle’s book on art and literature: What makes art Art is an imitation of Reality
art an imitation of reality – poetry speaks of universals, history of particulars
tragedy highest form of dramatic art, enables people to empathize– purge the feelings of pity and fear
tragic hero a noble (high status) character; Othello a warrior and generally good person
hamartia fatal flaw (Ex: Greeks had Hubris)
Peripeteia the reversal of fortune; character often curses people when they die
Catharsis pity and fear
Pathos uncommon type of suffering
anagorisis a revelation or realization of the tragic hero that its their own fault
classical Tragedy has a focus on the role of Fate
Othello Moorish general who marries a Venetian lady and is cruel tricked into thinking she’s cheated on him
1604 when Othello was first performed
Cinthio original source Shakespeare took from and made into a play; 100 tails, written in 1500’s
Venice and Cyprus where Othello is set- gives this exotic appeal of a city on the water
Venice where Act 1 is set
Othello defends Cyprus
Cyprus where Acts 2-5 are set; wild, savage, demoralized setting
Venice in the 1500’s pleasure capital of Europe
In the play…. lose Turks ___ bc a storm
courtesan high class prostitute
Turks (Ottoman Empire) at war with the Venetians over power, money, and land
Larger Exterior conflicts Christian vs. Muslim, European vs. Foreign, “Civilized” vs. Barbarian/Savage
essential underlying question which man, the European, Christian Iago or the Foreign, Muslim-born Othello, its the real threat to civilization?
Moor mixed ancestry- Caucasian “barbers” and Arabs from East (light-skinned Arabs); darker skin, but not native Congo black
Barbary Coast (North Africa) where the Moors are located
8th century when the Moors took over Spain
Moor of Venice (Othello) A North African man, well educated, raised Muslim but converted and baptized Christian as an adult; admired and valued for intellect and military prowess
Great Britain didn’t want Moors in their country; the character Othello provokes curiosity, fear, hatred, discrimination
xenophobia fear of outsiders
“double time scheme” play takes place in 3 days (in 5 acts) to increase dramatic tension but references suggest more time has passed
OtHELLo tragic hero
DesDEMONa Greek for “unlucky”
Brabantio Desdemona’s father, a racist, doesn’t approve of relationship
Cassio Othello’s right hand man, a “player,” overall nice guy
Iago villain who decides to destroy these people’s lives for no reason
Roderigo lovesick fool in love with Desdemona; so desperate he’s paying Iago to set him up with Desdemona
Emilia Iago’s wife, lady in waiting to Desdemona
Bianca courtesan, in a relationship with Cassio
Themes Love vs. Lust, Jealousy, Manipulation, Loyalty and Honor, Trust, The “Other” (person different in society, Othello), violence (wrath)
Other motifs/themes color (black vs. white, good vs. evil), water, plants, Satan and Diabolism, fire (passion and love), slaves, music, lightness vs. darkness, vision (Othello’s blindness to see the truth), animals (references to raunchy sex and racism), poison (lies- planting a seed to slowly poison a person), and disease/medicine