Jealousy: Othello and Iago
The underlying current in Toni Cade Bambara’s “The Lesson” is the study of the contrast between poverty and wealth and Bamabara bring the two elements to life by taking a bunch if underprivileged African American children living in the slums and putting them on Fifth Avenue. Miss Moore who has taken them knows more about money than they do and she is respected by their parents and entrusted with their informal education as she has been to college.
In the beginning of the play Iago relays to Roderigo how he has been rejected by Othello for the lieutenant position that has been granted to Michael Cassio. Iago feels that he deserves the position more than Cassio and this is indeed the primary grudge that induces Iago to scheme and plot against Othello even though, as Colin McGinn states in “Shakespeare’s Philosophy” that “he will not gain much if anything, by Othello’s destruction (and that of other innocents), so his evil actions seem gratuitous”(83). Iago does rightly state as a warning “But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve / For daws to peck at; I am not what I am” (1.1.64-65). He is indeed never what he appears to be on the surface. He gives ample evidence of his jealousy, and indicates to Roderigo that he has no faith that the situation can be remedied and that he is going to resort to his own means to achieve his ends as: Why, there’s no remedy. ‘Tis the curse of service,
Preferment goes by letter and affection,
And not by old gradation, where each second
Stood heir to the first. Now, sir, be judge yourself
Whether I in any just term an affined
To Love the Moor (1.1.35-40)
And Brabantio rightly addresses him later in the scene as “villain.” Villain, he is, and so full of hate and jealousy for Cassio that he is prepared to go to any length to cause destruction to him, even attempting to have him killed later in the play. Without the least remorse or guilt, he kills his wife, Emilia, when he feels that she...
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