"This play was first performed by the King’s Men at the court of King James I on November 1, 1604. Written during Shakespeare’s great tragic period, which also included the composition of 'Hamlet' (1600), 'King Lear' (1604–5), 'Macbeth' (1606), and 'Antony and Cleopatra' (1606–7), 'Othello' is set against the backdrop of the wars between Venice and Turkey that raged in the latter part of the sixteenth century." -- "Othello," SparkNotes.com