Date of Award

Spring 6-8-2018

Document Type

Honors Project

University Scholars Director

Dr. Christine Chaney

First Advisor/Committee Member

Traynor Hansen

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Tom Amorose


Morocco, Spain, Race, Santiago, Cyprus, Venice


Shakespeare’s Othello is often viewed as an example of seventeenth century Renaissance binaries. Critics make distinctions when reading the play between hero and villain, Moors and Europeans, and between civilization and barbarity. These definitions are all complicated by Iago’s presence in the play. Iago, whose name implies he is actually a Spaniard, frames the play in a geo-political context. Because of Iago’s presence, Othello provides a picture of England’s position in the seventeenth century geo-political climate. Shakespeare is giving his English audience a particular political message.