Theme Of Jealousy In Othello By William Shakespeare

Category: Iago, Othello
Last Updated: 14 Oct 2020
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“Jealousy, a very powerful characteristic which is present in every human being on this planet, this attribute leads to negative events which can destroy relationships and consume the mind this can simply turn into anger and overcome the victim and make them do things that are not in their power. This is not absent in Othello and is shown constantly throughout the play. This trait has been shown within every character in different ways and are all victims of this of this attribute. Jealousy is the motivating force behind the vengeful actions taken by Iago. Jealousy creates power struggles, his mistrust between his and his loved ones and results in him losing what he loves the most”

“Throughout the play Iago struggles to keep his power at what It was at and control certain people so he can have more power. He displays jealousy very quickly from the beginning of the play; his thoughts of jealousy quickly changed and got into thoughts of revenge. As he attempts to do this he struggles various times with many of the characters. His plan is to achieve the greatest power but he fails to do so.

As Cassio had taken Iagos position as lieutenant he had built up hatred and jealousy for Cassio and planned” on taking revenge against him as he says “One Michael Cassio, a Florentine/ A fellow almost damn’d in a fair wife (Othello, Act 1 scene 1, 20-21)” This quote shows that Iago is jealous of Cassio because he has taken his job spot as a lieutenant which frustrates Iago, this later leads Iago to take action and he plans revenge against Cassio which he will do slowly by getting Othello trust and attention and will make Othello look down upon him.

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“How poor are they that have not patience!/ What wound did ever heal but by degrees?/Thou know’st we work by wit and not by witchcraft,/ And wit depends on dilatory time./Does’t not go well? Cassio hath beaten thee./And thou, by that small hurt, hath cashiered Cassio./Though other things grow fair against the sun,/Yet fruits that blossom first will first be ripe./Content thyself awhile. In troth, ’tis morning./Pleasure and action make the hours seem short./Retire thee, go where thou art billeted./Away, I say, thou shalt know more hereafter./Nay, get thee gone.” (Othello Act 2 scene 3 , 340-352) Iago can now sense that Rodrigo does not need his help and is thinking about going back to Venice, with this we can see Iago is now having power struggles and is going to lose one of his men.

Iago reacts back to this to keep his power where it is at by questioning Roderigos manhood and makes fun of him. Iago has had many power struggles but he tried to maintain is throughout the play but he could not keep it up throughout the whole play. Trust plays a major part within this play. Jealousy between characters causes mistrust and creates major conflicts. Iagos jealousy causes mistrust in Othello, he made him believe with false facts that othellos wife Desdemona has been cheating on him with Michael Cassio every now and then.

Iago had done this so Othello would remove Michael Cassio as lieutenant and place him there. Othello had asked Iago for proof of if Desdemona had actually been a whore “Villan, be sure thou prove my love a whore! / Be sure of it; give me the ocular proof;/Or, by the worth of mans eternal soul,/ Thou hadst been better have been born a dog/Than answer my waked wrath! (Othello Act 3 scene 3, 359-362) Trust is playing with Othello and he asks Iago for proof that Desdemona actually cheated on Othello.

Iago is putting thoughts in to Othellos head which is making him gain mistrust for his wife Desdemona “Nay, but be wise. Yet we see nothing done;/ She may be honest yet. Tell me but this:/ Have you not sometimes seen a handkerchief /Spotted with strawberries in your wifes habd?.” (Othello act 3 scene 5, 433-435) Iago had put mistrust within him and made him think about what he is doing right or wrong.

Jealousy is the major factor to all of the characters down fall. Jealousy led to many other factors in the play which lead to certain characters getting revenge for the wrong reason and pointless reasons. Othello had been convinced fully by Iago that his love Desdemona was a whore and had cheated on Othello with Michael Cassio Othello’s previous right hand man who he had took of the job due to being drunk while on the job.

With this jealousy everywhere and mostly in Iago it had came around and effected him in a bad way and led to his downfall and lost his title as “honest Iago” “o thou dull moor, the handkerchief thou speak’st of/I found by fortune, and did give my husband;/For often with a solemn earnestness,/more than indeed belong’d to such a triffle,/He begg’d of me to steal it.” (Othello Act 5 Scene 2, 225-228). This showing leads to his downfall where he has been caught lying and what he had done had been unrelieved. His jealousy also led to the downfall of Roderigo, he had trusted Iago in what he was doing but in reality all he needed was his money and jewels.

Iago had stabbed Roderigo because he doesn’t need him anymore “O damn’d Iago! O inhuman dog!”(Othello act 5 scene 1, 62). Roderigo is realzing that he had been betrayed by the man he thought who was helping him, this was leading to his down fall. All because of jealousy he had to his down fall. ”The play of Othello shows that power jealousy can overcome people and take control of them. In the play at a point or another each character experiences jealousy for each other, this can be a very dangerous attribute. Jealousy creates power struggles, his mistrust between his and his loved ones and results in him losing what he loves the most. Jealousy had messed up a lot of characters in this play and left them with nothing .”

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Theme Of Jealousy In Othello By William Shakespeare. (2016, Jul 09). Retrieved from

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