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Jealousy In Shakespeare Essay

1794 words - 7 pages

AbstractJealousy is fueled by people's fears and insecurities and as such, is an extremely powerful emotion that if unchecked and let loose can destroy more than one life in the process. Shakespeare uses this emotion to provoke his characters into action in his plays. It is how the characters deal and come out of their turmoil that determines their fate, tragic or not.Everyone at one time or another has dealt with the green-eyed monster. That monster is jealousy. The trivial emotion that has driven apart countless friends and couples in real life has also destroyed relationships on paper too. Hundreds of years ago Shakespeare wrote plays about men blinded by jealousy who nearly destroyed their lives and families. A casual reader or audience may not leave one of Shakespeare's jealousy-themed plays smarter, but those who see past the words and what is behind the emotions portrayed, can come out of it better prepared for tough decisions ahead in life. Learning from the character's mistakes as well as their actions can help one come to terms with his or her self much easier. Again, one has to see beyond the words and delve into the feelings and actions of the characters to see how Shakespeare uses jealousy not only as a tool of literature, but also as a doorway into the character's subconscious. From this window to their soul, one learns that not only can appearances be deceiving and shallow, but theoretically pretty wallpaper covering the old peeling paint behind.In plain terms, jealousy is what one feels when something or someone precious to them is threatened to be taken away or lost. Jealousy can also come from more shallow feelings like that of losing a position or prize to someone else. While one may easily point to these situations as the cause of their pain and jealousy, it goes much deeper than just baseline feelings. Inside every one's subconscious, lie the true emotions and philosophies they live by. Along side those feeling also lay their fears and insecurities. It is from these insecurities that our jealousy arises and develops. Through trauma or events of everyday life, these hidden fears, like that of rejection, humiliation, being alone, and lack of self-esteem, reflect our actions and lifestyles. One example is a husband who suspects his wife is having an affair. The thought of it is eats him alive. In his past he was dumped because his love at the time left him for another man and he could do nothing about it. This devastated him and today he would do anything to prevent this from happening again, but realizes he does not have the power to do so. Suddenly he becomes very possessive of his wife's attention and stays next to her as much as he can and tries to control her actions creating even more conflict between them. His suspicions go everywhere with him and affect his work and health. "The jealous spouse often desperately wants to stop the behavior but finds that he can't control the thoughts which make him feel miserable." (Frank,...

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