Using Act 1 Scene 3 as a starting point, assess the importance of Venice in the tragedy of "Othello"- William Shakespeare.

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In the play "Othello", the whole of the first act is set in Venice. Venice is a mercantile city, markets and stalls can be seen on every street; even in the first scene of "Othello", Iago comments that "I know my price," ["Othello"; Act 1 Scene 1, page 3, (1) ] a term that is linked to trade. Venice is a serene and quiet city due to the lack of vehicles; the canals and gondolas are the main form of transport in the city, making Venice a clean and relatively unpolluted city. Venice was the heart of the Italian Renaissance in the 15th and 16th century; new ideas on art, architecture, poetry and books were spread all over Italy and surrounding places. The economy was better then it had been for centuries:

"It was a rich commercial centre and employed mercenaries like Othello to protect it."

[, (2) ]

The Venetian Army had a very important role to play since Venice was a trade city; the place needed protecting from any outsiders who may try to invade and attempt to take over. Othello was one of these mercenaries; he was commander in the Venetian Army with Cassio and Iago. It was his job to protect Venice and go to war and fight. His occupation is the first thing that is said about Othello in the first scene: "[Othello is] horribly stuffed with epithets of war" ["Othello"; Act 1 Scene 1, page 3 (1)]; he is defined as a soldier from the first introduction of him from Iago. Not once is Othello referred to as "Othello" or "the General", he is just referred to in the pronoun, or "his Moorship." The image of a warrior is reflected onto the...