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Did You Know

The first kiss, on an American stage, between a black actor and a white actress happened in a 1943 production of Othello. That Othello became the longest-running production ever of a Shakespearean play in the United States.

The full title of Othello, at least in our most reliable text, is The Tragedy of Othello the Moor of Venice. While it is unknown whether Shakespeare actually wrote the titles of his plays, the double identification of Othello - by his race and his city - bears noting, since it puts the play in a very different frame, and runs against the reading that would make Othello an isolated "tragic hero," a reading supported by the trimmed-down title favored by modern editors. Finally, the title is noteworthy for an uncanny and suggestive resemblance to the only similar title in the rest of Shakespeare's works: The Comical History of the Merchant of Venice, or Otherwise Called the Jew of Venice.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Scenes 1.1 and 1.2
Scene 1.3
Scenes 2.1 and 2.2
Scene 2.3
Scenes 3.1 and 3.2
Scene 3.3
Scene 3.4
Scene 4.1
Scenes 4.2 and 4.3
Scene 5.1
Scene 5.2


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