Jealousy in Othello

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Shakespeare is prominent in his use of recurring themes throughout his works, particularly those of love, death, and betrayal. All these themes are present in Othello. Most paramount, however, is jealousy. Jealousy runs the characters’ lives in Othello from the beginning of the play, when Roderigo is envious of Othello because he wishes to be with Desdemona, and to the end of the play, when Othello is furious with envy because he believes Cassio and Desdemona have been engaging in an affair. Some characters’ jealousy is fashioned by other characters. Iago is involved in much of this, creating lies and implementing misleading situations. He is consumed with jealousy of Cassio and masked with hatred of Othello because he was not chosen as lieutenant, Cassio was. Iago is selfish in that he wants everyone to feel as he does so he engineers the jealousy of other characters. Iago is a man blinded by envy and anger, with a goal in mind for everyone to become equally jealous, which aim he completes through his betrayal and manipulation of characters, specifically Othello. Iago knows precisely how to undermine Othello’s fragile experience of love when he introduces the idea of the “green eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds upon”- in act 3, scene 3.

Jealousy in Othello twists its way throughout the story, interfering with all the relationships. Iago, the jealous villain, succeeds in infecting Othello, someone who is not easily jealous. This is shown when Iago tells Othello of false beliefs of Desdemona sleeping with Cassio. “Look to your wife, observe her well with Cassio” said in act 2 scene 4. An important concern of the play is with the way love, jealousy and hatred can sometimes be so closely related, that an individual’s feelings can move from one to the other, whether their relationships are those of husband and wife or lady in waiting and mistress. Notice that it is the relationship which represents the most elevated form of love which is...
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