Shakespeare’s “Othello” ends badly, with several bodies on stage. The tragic scene offers a cautionary tale for attorneys. Here’s the combustible stew that brought about the carnage: Iago is a Venetian soldier. Othello is his high-ranking commander, who promotes the handsome and smooth-talking Cassio, an administrative-type, as his second-in-command, instead of Iago. An angered Iago vows vengeance.

Because the Turks declare war on Venice, the three of them sail off to Cyprus for battle, followed by Othello’s smart and attractive new wife, Desdemona. She is white and young; Othello is black and aged. The two are very much in love, but the stark contrast between them undermines Othello’s confidence.

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