Audience Expectations In Othello

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Based on its style, the play is usually dated 1603 or 1604, but arguments have been made for dates as early as 1601 or 1602 (Honigmann 1997, 344-350). It was likely performed in 1603. The play was entered into the Register of the Stationers Company on 6 October 1621, by Thomas Walkley, and was first published in quarto format by him in 1622. One year later, the play was included among the plays in the First Folio of Shakespeare's collected plays. However, the version in the Folio is rather different in length, and in wording. The action is set a number of decades earlier, and the context is the Ottoman-Venetian struggle for the island of Cyprus. In fact, Venice had governed Cyprus since 1470, but by the 1560s the Ottoman emperor began to make…show more content…
Certainly this fact had an influence on the play’s composition and on the audience’s expectations. Exactly in these years, a Barbary delegation was in London and visited the court when the Lord Chamberlain's Men were performing. De Sousa affirms that “King James was very much interested in the Venetian-Turkish wars of 1571; so may have Shakespeare been when he wrote Othello. This may explain why Othello was chosen to be performed at Whitehall” (De Sousa 2002,…show more content…
When Brabantio arrives at Othello's residence, the messengers and guards of the Duke keep him away from Othello. The Senator has no option but to accompany Othello to the Duke's residence where he accuses Othello of seducing Desdemona by witchcraft, but Othello defends himself before an assembly that includes the Duke of Venice, Brabantio's kinsmen Lodovico and Gratiano, and various senators. Othello defends himself that he did not do any witchcraft, but he just told Desdemona the story of his life, and she felt in love with him. The senate is satisfied once Desdemona confirms that she loves Othello and even declares that she will accompany him wherever he goes. By order of the Duke, Othello leaves Venice to command the Venetian armies to protect the island of Cyprus, accompanied by his new wife, his new lieutenant Cassio, his ensign Iago, and Iago's wife, Emilia as Desdemona's

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