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The Theme Of Jealousy In Shakespeare's Othello

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Tragedy unfolds as a quest for revenge results in deceptive alliances, unsuspecting betrayal, and unrestrained jealousy. William Shakespeare’s Othello, the Moor of Venice, depicts the tragic downfall Othello, a decorated and well respected military leader, at the hands of his trusted companion Iago. Iago, spurned after being passed over for promotion, blazes a path a revenge that entangles everyone around him, and ultimately himself. All of the elements and themes employed by Shakespeare in Othello over four centuries ago, are still admissible in modern times. By delving into the world of human nature, Shakespeare’s Othello, the Moor of Venice reveals jealousy, honor, and perception versus reality, as universal truths that are not only relevant…show more content…
Although the most obvious manifestation of jealousy occurs within Othello, the characters of Iago, Biana, and Roderigo also radiate this encompassing emotion. Realizing the sheer power of this emotion, Shakespeare uses it in ways that contribute to the overall message that he was striving for. Although Iago succeeded in his plan to make Othello jealous, it was his own jealousy that caused everything to happen in the first place. “I hate the Moor, / And it is thought abroad, that 'twixt my sheets / 'Has done my office. I know not if 't be true, / But I, for mere suspicion in that kind, / Will do as if for surety” (I.iii, 287-291). Not only is Iago jealous over the fact that he was passed over for promotion, but also because there is a rumor that Othello has been having an affair with his wife, Emilia. Iago then channels this jealousy into a vengeful plot against the Moor. Jealousy is a universal truth about human nature, because it is a common emotion that everyone experiences at some point in their lives. Jealousy, as Shakespeare portrays it in Othello, causes people to do detrimental things to the people around them. It would be naive to think that human nature has grown out of its jealous tendencies. Even though Othello was written many centuries ago, the universal truth of jealousy applies to all people in every culture. It was not an accident that Shakespeare used…show more content…
Shakespeare’s use of these universal truths adds depth to the meaning of the play, and allows the reader to relate to it in their own unique way. Jealousy, honor, and perception versus reality are all crucial universal truths in Othello, that have contributed to the popularity and understanding of the play. It is the presence of universal truths that make his plays extremely popular and interesting. It was not a mistake that Shakespeare based Othello off of universal themes and truths that were relevant during his time and that continue to be relevant in modern
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