Shakespeare's Othello portrays the effect of emotions. Throughout the play love and jealousy are the most prominent emotions. The characters’ emotions lead them into making the decisions that make this play a tragedy. Although some may argue love is the most important emotion in Othello, nevertheless jealousy truly is because it makes Othello and Iago make awful decisions.
On one hand, some people might say love is the most important emotion in Othello because Iago's motive for his plan is his love for Desdemona, and Roderigo attacks Cassio because of his love for Desdemona. Roderigo is blindly in love with Desdemona and will do anything to woo her. Iago is able to convince him that "by making him uncapable of Othello's place," he will have a greater chance to court Desdemona (4.2.262-263). Roderigo’s intense emotions towards Desdemona allow him to be easily manipulated. His love for Desdemona blinds him from what is right and what is wrong. Iago comes up with a plan to kill Othello because he does "love her too" (2.1.313). His love for Desdemona proves strong enough for him to kill his superior. Iago and Roderigo are both prime examples of how the emotion of love can make someone act irrational although love is not the emotion that motivates the play’s action.
On the other hand, jealousy is the most important emotion in Othello; it provokes Iago to make rash decisions. Iago is so paranoid “that [he does] suspect the lusty Moor hath leaped into [his] seat” (2.1.318). Iago has no reason to think Emilia is unfaithful, but he wishes to put Othello “into jealousy so strong that judgment cannot cure” because of his suspicion (2.1.323-324). His distrust leads him to disrespect his general, and cause complications throughout the play. Iago involves Cassio in his plot to “abuse him to the Moor in the rank garb” (2.1.328) Iago wants to exploit Cassio in the eyes of Othello to acquire his position of lieutenant. Iago’s desire to...
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