Othello's Jealousy

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When we first begin Othello, we see the start of what we believe to be a beautiful marriage between Othello and Desdemoda. However, at the end, we are faced with the tragic murder of Desdemoda by her dear Othello, bringing this marriage to a gruesome end. We’re left with a sense of horror, sorrow, and bewilderment. How could this have happened? Why did Othello, how did Othello, go from a doting husband to a furious killer? The obvious answer is that Iago deceived him into thinking that Desdemoda had been unfaithful to him. But what caused Othello’s quickness to believe? How was this not cleared up? Multiple factors contributed to this tragedy. One of these is the huge amount of jealousy throughout the play, which motivate the characters to complete their actions.
Jealousy is a factor in Desdemoda’s end from the very beginning. The Shakespeare Navigator stated, “After Desdemona makes it clear that she loves and honors her husband, Brabantio remains vindictive, and bitterly warns Othello that Desdemona may turn out to be a slut: ‘Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see: / She has deceived her father, and may thee" (1.3.292-293).’ No father has ever expressed a more hateful jealousy of his son-in-law.” Brabantio is obviously hurt by Desdemoda’s abandonment of him, and is jealous of Othello’s newly acquired possession of his pride and joy. The warning that he gives in jealousy plants the seed of doubt in Othello’s mind, a seed that Iago later would begin to cultivate and bring to fruition.
Iago is perhaps the most jealous character within the entire play. Even he knows he is jealous, stating, “I confess, it is my nature's plague / To spy into abuses, and oft my jealousy / Shapes faults that are not" (3.3.146-148). Jeal...

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...e made him unappealing to Desdemoda. In contrast, Cassio is a Florentine, a white man, with a soft way of speaking, and younger than Othello, which, in Othello’s eyes, makes him much more desirable to Desdemoda. Then, after being told that Cassio most likely has slept with his wife, it is too much; jealousy completely overtakes reason, and Othello murders Desdemoda.
As we can see, jealousy is a theme throughout the play. Multiple characters suffer from and are motivated by it, and their actions, pushed by the power of jealousy, ultimately lead to Othello’s murdering Desdemoda. The jealousy of Brabantio, Iago, Emelia, and Othello all contribute to the sequence of events that lead to Desdemoda’s demise. This play can serve as a warning to us all; jealousy can creep in upon us, and often take control, leading us to do things that will eventually result in disaster.
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