Shakespeare is consistent in his use of repeated themes throughout his works, particularly those of love, death, and betrayal. Shakespeare repeats these themes to set the mood through his works. It is important for Shakespeare to be consistent with his themes, or the plays would lose their meaning and mood. All of these themes are present in Othello, but the most dominant is the theme of jealousy, which presents itself multiple times throughout the play. We see the kind of jealousy which is envy of what others have, and as the kind of which is fear of losing what we have. According to The New Lexicon Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language, “jealousy is a state of fear, suspicion, revenge or envy caused by real or imagined threat or challenge to one’s possessive instincts. It may be provoked by rivalry in sexual love by competition or by desires for the qualities or possessions of another.” Jealousy is an evil trait, “O, beware my Lord, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster” and will lead people to do abominable envious attacks (Shakespeare III.iii.). Jealousy plays a huge role on the characters of Othello, as it does not get the characters anywhere, or gain the characters anything. Jealousy is the main cause of misery, heartbreak, and death in Shakespeare’s Othello.
Shakespeare’s Othello may seem to be a play of many jealous men, but really it is one man’s jealousy to blame for the fall of others, and that man is Iago. Iago is a jealous, two-faced, lying, villain, who is out to get revenge on everybody, and tricks people into believing that his every word is true. Iago even says, “And what’s he then that says I play the villain, when this advice is free I give and honest” stating he had is way of making people believe his antics were innocent and true (Shakespeare II.iii.). Iago’s main mission is to destroy Othello, general of the armies of Venice. Iago’s anger toward Othello began when Othello overlooked
Cited: Shakespeare, William. Othello. The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed. Michael Meyers. 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s 2009. 1164-1244. Print. The New Lexicon Webster 's Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language. Ed. Bernard S Cayne. Lexicon Publications. Encyclopedia Edition. 1989