Therefore, after the Reformation, it represented an antagonistic political and religious force against Protestantism in England. At that time, Italy was the site of classical Roman history and civilization which paved the way for the "Renaissance" of European culture from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century. (Nostbakken, 2000)
Differences matter. Othello was not a Venetian by birth and therefore his status is ambivalent: he both belongs and does not belong to the city of Venice. He belongs because he is Venice's military general whose main role was to defend the city from possible invaders, and he is a Christian who shared a common religion with his fellow Venetian citizens. However, he is also a real stranger from a strange country, a foreigner and an outsider. The play manifests the inherent tension which exists between the differences that set him apart and the qualities that allow him to play a respected and vital role in the city's day-to-day life. Cassio, another key character of this play, is an outsider but he is less of a stranger compared to Othello for he is a European gentleman. Cassio comes from the beautiful Italian city of Florence. Othello, in contrast comes from the unknown and misunderstood world of Africa. (Nostbakken, 2000)
The courtesans of Venice were prostitutes serving an upper-c...
In this play, Shakespeare presents the strong positive and negative impact of identity by exploiting many degrees of difference between various characters of the play as distinguished by their rank and status, and by their places of origin, adoption, or conquest. Shakespeare wrote this play for English audiences in the early seventeenth century and this play reflected and responded to problems, situations, and problems of the period. Hence, the play showed identities defined by differences as well as similarities. In a sense, the responses of English audiences were also influenced by their own sense of identity as a nation.
Iago's character speaks for the corruption and intrigue in Venice. In the first scene, he implies the practice of political prejudice, as opposed to impartiality, by explaining that friendship gained Cassio the title of lieutenancy while Iago's attempts had failed. Iago acts as a model of self-interest rather than duty. Iago's advice to Roderigo to "put money in thy purse" exemplified the naked greed that foreigners identified with Venice's highly prosperous merchant economy. Iago is inherently revengeful, scheming, and manipulative. His dominance in the play mirrors the dark side of humanity and also the dark side of Venice. Iago is a true native of Venice and he belongs there in a way that Othello, the outsider, does not. (Nostbakken, 2000)
Venetian women were perceived to be very deceptive. Desdemona was shown as a "super-subtle Venetian" and suspects practically every man and woman as being unfaithful, adulterous, or promiscuous. However, Desdemona does not fit the Venetian stereotype of infidelity and deception. She was a faithful woman.