The Effects Of Jealousy In Othello By William Shakespeare

December 10, 2020 by Essay Writer

Let’s just say life is being revolved around rumours people had started to benefit their life. Without completely thinking, they seek revenge. William Shakespeare, Othello, goes in-depth of Iago’s jealousy, lying and manipulating others into believing the rumour he started about Othello’s wife Desdemona and Lieutenant Cassio. To begin with, the problem of the play started from a character being jealous of another. To add on, the jealousy of Iago causes him to portray negative behaviours affecting other characters. Last, the negative behaviour he portrays leads to an unfortunate event. Life of a human can be wrecked by one’s jealousy and deception which spreads to others convincing them a lie to obtain the truth. Being jealous of someone can sometimes be overwhelming and they need themselves superior to others. The causes arising in this play are primarily caused by the jealousy that is within Iago. In the beginning, The Moorish general, Othello announces a higher-ranking position to Cassio instead of Iago which endures the start of the problem.

Iago gets annoyed by Othello’s decision and states “One Michael Cassio, a Florentine (a fellow almost damned in a fair wife), That never set a squadron in the field, Nor the division of a battle known, More than a spinster; unless the bookish theory, Wherein the togged consuls can propose, As masterly as he. Mere prattle without practice”. Iago feels vulnerable and feels the need to take revenge on both Othello and Cassio because he could not live with this humiliation. He could not obtain Cassio’s position, so he begins talking trash to Rodrigo of how unworthy and useless Cassio is. Next, this was not the only problem Iago felt betrayed and jealous about, he had mixed emotions about his wife Emilia. There were rumours that Emilia had an affair with Othello. Iago’s anger towards Othello changes in many situations and the difficulty of trust throughout the play. Now Iago got two reasons to ruin Othello’s life as he proceeds to say, “I hate the Moor and it is thought abroad that‘twixt my sheets, was done my office. I know not if it be true; yet I, for mere suspicion in that kind. Will do as if for surety.” In these lines, Iago is explaining to the rumour that is going around with his wife’s name. To get back at Othello for his incorrect decision, he uses Othello to get revenge on Cassio. Which starts off the problem in this play. In conclusion, jealousy stays within every person and continues to spread throughout the other characters. Second, jealousy can threaten one’s ego, when rumours are created conflicts follows along. Lots of characters in this play retain a generous trust in Iago and think he remains as a loyal and honourable person. With those trust and belief, he utilizes it for his benefit and takes advantage and gets revenge.

One example is Rodrigo; he had trusted Iago and confessed his love for Desdemona. He speaks about his plot and vengeance. “The Moor is of a free and open nature, That thinks men honest that but seem to be so; and will as tenderly be led by the nose as asses are. I have not! It is engendered! Hell, and night. Must bring this monstrous birth to the world’s light.” Iago informs Rodrigo how Otello is a naïve man and will believe whatever someone says. At this moment Iago arranges something vile to get back and convinces him the rumours is true. With that benefit, he uses Othello’s love towards Desdemona. Suddenly, Desdemona lost her handkerchief that Othello had gifted to her. Emilia discovered it and approached it to Iago. “I will in Cassio’s lodging lose this napkin and let him find it. Trifles light as air, are to the jealous confirmations strong, as proofs of a holy writ. This may do something.” In this phrase, Iago is mentioning he will place Othello’s handkerchief in Cassio’s room. This is all a part of Iago’s plan; he has already told many lies about Desdemona’s affair with Cassio and now if he finds the handkerchief in Cassio’s room it will prove the rumour is correct. Therefore, believing in a person that started conflicts is typically from jealousy and negative behaviours. Lastly, every time a lie is being told the result comes out at very poor, in this case, the end solution was death. In Act 4 scene 2 Iago convinces Rodrigo to fight and kill Cassio. In the end, both Rodrigo and Cassio got killed. However, Iago’s ultimate betrayal caused him to kill his friend. “Like Rodrigo, He calls me to a restitution large, Of gold and jewels that I bobbed from him, As gifts to Desdemona. It must not be.” Not only is Iago betraying Cassio and Othello, but he also betrayed Rodrigo.

For example, Rodrigo confessed his love for Desdemona to Iago along with that he gave Iago jewelry to give to Desdemona. But Iago decided to keep it the whole time and did not execute it to her. Iago’s rumours were believable Othello believed it and went after Desdemona to kill her. Since Desdemona was his love, he demanded her to confess so he knew she was getting killed for the right reason and asked for her last words “Well, do it, and be brief; I will walk by. I would not kill thy unprepared spirit. No, heaven forfends! I would not kill thy soul”. This proves he worships her, but he believed in someone else rumours instead of believing his loyal wife. Overall, the result of one’s jealous behaviour and creating lies to benefit themselves, lead to the death of innocent people. To conclude, a person’s jealousy and dishonesty caused the result of a tragic event. It starts by jealousy developed in a character. Which then spread with rumours and created conflict between characters. Then which the result in this play ended up as the death of innocent people. There is constantly another perspective of one’s perceived thinking.

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