Study Guide

Othello What's Up With the Title?

By William Shakespeare

What's Up With the Title?

Today, we know the play as simply Othello. But check out the title page of the 1622 quarto (the first published edition of the play): The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice.

The full title not only suggests that the play is about some guy named "Othello"; it also alerts us to the fact that Othello's status as a black "Moor" in (a mostly white) "Venice" is going to be a pretty big deal in this play.

Check out "Why Should I Care?" and our discussion of the theme of "Race" for more on this.