Jealousy in William Shakespeare’s Othello

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In William Shakespeare’s Othello the experience of jealousy as expressed by Othello, Iago and Roderigo play a large role in depicting the fate of the three characters throughout the play. Subsequently jealousy serves as the backbone for the downward spiral of Iago, Roderigo, and Othello. Jealousy is the driving force behind Othello’s accusations towards Desdemona. Roderigo’s jealousy escalates after Othello’s marriage to Desdemona is secure. Iago’s ill will towards Michael Cassio’s promotion puts Iago in a jealous rage and Iago will do whatever it takes to destroy Michael Cassio not caring who is taken down along the way. Jealousy serves as a theme for William Shakespeare’s Othello. Jealousy starts in the opening scene which ends the play in many of the character’s demise.

In Act 1 of William Shakespeare’s Othello Iago informs wealthy Roderigo of Othello’s marriage to Desdemona. Roderigo who has been paying Iago in his pursuit to win Desdemona’s love is overwhelmed with jealousy. Roderigo ‘s disappointment is strong due to large financial deposits Roderigo had made to Iago to win Desdemona’s love. Iago’s jealousy soars upon hearing the news of Michael Cassio’s promotion to lieutenant which Iago had been passed over for. Roderigo lets it be known Iago serves Othello while Iago states “I follow him to serve my turn upon him.” The sarcasm in Iago’s statement shows Iago’s disloyal service to Othello. Iago only serves Othello for further advancements of Iago’s own power. Iago advises Roderigo to

taint Othello’s marriage by turning Desdemona’s family against Othello. The character of Iago brightly shines a light progressively how jealousy will mold the rest of the play. Iago’s evil ways res...

... middle of paper ... be learned from William Shakespeare’s Othello are jealousy is a strong destructive emotion and put in the hands of the wrong people could lead to disastrous events. Jealousy can ruin friendships, marriages, and lifes. I also feel William Shakespeare’s underlying moral in Othello was usually we want what we cannot have.

Works Cited

Kennedy X.J Gioia Dana Literature An introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama and Writing. New jersey 2005

SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on Othello” SparkNotes LLC. 2002. Web. 26 Nov. 2013

“They are making the beast with two backs”(William Shakespeare’s Othello Act I Scene I.)

“With as little a web I will ensnare as great a fly as Cassio.” (William Shakespeare’s Othello Act II Scene I)

“Beg your pardon I took you for the cunning where of Venice.” (William Shakespeare’s Othello Act IV Scene II)
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