Othello: Jealousy and Love

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William Shakespeare’ Othello is an impressive work that is mainly dominated by the theme of jealously following love. These elements are bound together to create a tragedy so devastating it compels both the characters and audience. From the very start of the play the conversation between Roderigo and Iago during Othello and Desdemona’s elopement should make it clear to the audience that the play’s central themes would involve pure jealousy: "Tush! never tell me; I take it much unkindly / That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse / As if the strings were thine, shouldst know of this" (Roderigo, 1.1.1-3). In this verse, it is revealed that Iago is being paid by Roderigo for his troubles, which should hint the audience that they are up to no good. It is also revealed that Roderigo is evidently not happy about the marriage and quite gullible and desperate enough to do anything to get his former love back. In fact he loves Desdemona so much he falls into Iago’s trap and becomes the pawn that helps trigger Othello’s greatest downfall. When Iago presents his first soliloquy, he portrays his hate for Othello. The characteristics of Iago are shown to be selfish, cynical yet intelligent. It is important to note that Iago does not like Othello because he has given Cassio the position of being the lieutenant, rather than giving Iago this position. His soliloquy foreshadows the near futures to come for Othello. This is done various times throughout the play. The theme of jealousy appears throughout the play as many of the main characters seem to embody the characteristics of a jealous man, which all lead to their downfall. Being Desdemona’s previous suitor, Roderigo is jealous of Othello. He is willing to do anything to get Desdemona back, even if it meant killing Othello. But, he is later killed in the end. Iago is jealous of Cassio’s position, and plots against Cassio to get his position, but it is revealed in the end that Cassio is promoted to an even higher position....
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