Throughout Shakespeare’s play, Othello, the major theme of jealousy is explored in detail through the main characters Othello and Iago's actions. In the tragedy Othello, Shakespeare focuses on how jealousy affects Othello and the other major characters to result ultimately in their destruction. The theme of jealousy is evident throughout the play as it motivates the characters’ actions and suggests alot about the impacts, effects and nature of jealousy itself. In Shakespeare’s Othello, jealousy is portrayed through the major characters of Iago and Othello. It acts as a poison administered by Iago's words to Othello which causes him to transform from an honest noble general into a vengeful murderer. Jealousy is the "Green eyed monster."
Initially Iago is seen as “most honest” by his friends, but in fact he is truly the opposite. His feelings of jealousy consumes him and uncovers his actual self. Roderigo is the only person in the play that knows he is not the honest friend he pretends to be. Iago tells Roderigo that he is “not what he is”, a statement meaning he is not who is pretending to be in front of Cassio, Othello and Desdimona. He becomes possesed by this jealousy because he is angry that Othello chose Michael Cassio for the position of lieutenancy instead of himself. He also believes that Othello has "Done his office" or slept with his wife Emelia. These two reasons cause Iago to "Hate the Moor", and ultimately plot his revenge against him. Iago hints to Othello that his wife, Desdemona, has been unfaithful to him and is having an affair with Cassio. This causes Othello to begin suspecting such things have occured and the poison begins to take affect.
However, Although Othello has complete trust in Iago’s honesty, he will not believe him without solid evidence. Because of this Iago presents Othello with the proof of a handkerchief that Iago says he saw Cassio wipe his beard with, and Cassio’s sleep talking. Othello is completely possessed with...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document