Presentation on theme: "THE TRAGEDY AND THE MOOR Introduction to Shakespeare's Othello."— Presentation transcript:
THE TRAGEDY AND THE MOOR Introduction to Shakespeare's Othello
Background for Shakespeare's’ Othello Scholars disagree on the exact date it was actually written, but the first performance of the play was on November 1, 1604 at the Court of King James I Shakespeare’s Othello was inspired by a short story written in Venice in 1566 by Cinthio Giambattista Giraldi, an Italian writer. Yes, Shakespeare borrowed the plot from another writer! Othello was written in the early 17 th century, during the Elizabethan era; Europe’s view of “outsiders” was largely shaped by exotic stories brought back by travelers overseas. There was very little everyday contact with these “outsiders.” Views were prejudiced.
A Tragic Hero Shakespeare’s Othello is considered one of four of his great tragedies; along with King Lear, Macbeth, and Hamlet. A tragic hero is the main character who errors in his actions, which leads to his eventual downfall Tragic heroes are neither fully good nor evil; they usually have outstanding qualities, but it is the tragic hero’s decisions and mistakes that lead to his undoing
Traits of A Tragic Hero The hero sees and understands his doom, and that his fate was revealed by his own actions. The hero is faced with a serious decision. The hero is physically or spiritually wounded by his experiences, often resulting in his death. A tragic hero is often of noble birth, or rises to noble standing. He is usually admired by others.
Othello, “The Moor” Othello is the tale of jealousy, forbidden love, and prejudice. Desdemona, a senator’s daughter’s, secretly marries Othello, a general in the Venetian army, and also a Moor. But what is a Moor? A Moor was a member of a Muslim people of mixed Arab and African descent, now living chiefly in northwest Africa The term is derived from Mauritania, an Islamic country in Northwest Africa.
Exit Slip Questions Why is the historical context of Othello important? What parallels can you see emerging between our society and Othello’s? Would this be considered “scandalous” today? Explain.