Othello William Shakespeare Othello, The Moor of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare based on the short story "Moor of Venice" by Cinthio, believed to have been written in approximately 1603. The work revolves around four central characters: Othello, his wife Desdemona, his lieutenant Cassio, and his trusted advisor Iago. Attesting to its enduring popularity, the play appeared in 7 editions between 1622 and 1705. Because of its varied themes - racism, love, jealousy and betrayal - it remains relevant to the present day and is often performed in professional and community theatres alike. The play has also been the basis for numerous operatic, film and literary adaptations.
William Shakespeare was born in late April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon and died in 1616. He is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. Stanley Wells is Emeritus Professor of the University of Birmingham and Honorary President of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Tom McAlindon is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Hull.