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Race Issues

Using the web sites below, find information about the Moors (Othello’s people), the Turks (or Ottoman Empire, the invading party), and other “outsiders” to the Elizabethans.  Also examine race issues today.  As you read, consider the relevance of this play in  21st century America and the world.

Who were  the Moors?  From where did they come?  What were they doing in Europe in the sixteenth century?  What religious or cultural practices are associated with them?

The Black Other

InfoPlease: Moors

Othello: Race, Place, and Identity (see section on Othello's name and Moors)

Who were the Turks?  What was the Ottoman Empire?  How does this relate to the era of the play?

InfoPlease: Turks

InfoPlease: Ottoman Empire

What was the Elizabethan attitude toward foreigners in general and non-Christians—such as Turks—in particular?

Othello: Comments on Plot
(see Background and The Turks in Shakespeare's Othello sections)

Outsiders: Blacks

How have race issues changed over time?  What is the current state of race relations in the United States and the world?

Racism--Global Issues

Inter-racial Marriages Today