Othello (full title: The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice) is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare, probably in 1603, set in the contemporary OttomanVenetian War (15701573) fought for the control of the Island of Cyprus, since 1489 a possession of the Venetian Republic. The port city of Famagusta finally fell to the Ottomans in 1571 after a protracted siege. The story revolves around two characters, Othello and Iago. Othello is a military commander of Moorish race who was serving as general of the Venetian army in defence of Cyprus against invasion by Ottoman Turks. He has recently married Desdemona, a beautiful and wealthy Venetian lady much younger than himself, against the wishes of her father. Iago is Othello’s malevolent ensign, who maliciously stokes his master’s jealousy until the usually stoic Moor kills his beloved wife in a fit of blind rage. Due to its enduring themes of passion, jealousy and race, Othello is still topical and popular and is widely performed, with numerous adaptations.