Othello and Jealousy

Topics: Othello, Iago, Michael Cassio Pages: 3 (1073 words) Published: August 31, 2008
Jealousy is described as feelings of resentment against someone because of that person's rivalry, success, or advantages. It plays a very large role in Shakespeare’s “Othello”. Jealousy is the fire that motivates Iago and clouds Othello’s judgment, leading to the downfall of both men.

Iago is extremely jealous of Cassio because of his position in the army. “Iago, a Venetian soldier of so good reputation that he is known to everyone as “honest Iago”, feels bitterly and deeply that he has been done a gratuitous injustice, His past life has been exemplary; his private actions and public deeds have been above reproach; his superior, the great Moorish general Othello, has trusted him, confided in him, relied on him. Othello has had proof of his soldiership at Rhodes, at Cyprus, and on other grounds Christian and heathen. Three great ones of Venice have used their personal influence on Iago’s behalf. The lieutenancy has gone, nevertheless, to Michael Cassio, a Florentine and a mere theoretical soldier who has never set a squadron in the field.” (McCloskey 25) Iago was equal to Othello in the military until Othello was promoted. Othello then made Cassio his lieutenant which enraged Iago. He set out to destroy Cassio and succeeded as he was stripped of his lieutenancy. Iago was in a jealous frenzy and becoming lieutenant was not enough for him. Iago wants justice and this motivates him to sabotage Othello’s career as well. “Intellectual, craftly, subtle, and efficient as he is, Iago cannot, however, control his jealous suspicion.” (McCloskey 222) Iago is clever and quick-witted but he is completely consumed with envy. He uses all of his intelligence to try and bring down Othello. “And nothing can or shall content my soul till I am even’d with him, wife for wife, Or failing so, yet that I put the Moor At least into a jealousy so strong that judgment cannot cure.” (Shakespeare;Othello.Act II:Scene 1:lines 307-311) Iago believes that justice would be if...
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