Jealousy In William Shakespeare’s Othello Essay

3937 words - 16 pages

In William Shakespeare’s Othello the experience of jealousy as expressed by Othello, Iago and Roderigo play a large role in depicting the fate of the three characters throughout the play. Subsequently jealousy serves as the backbone for the downward spiral of Iago, Roderigo, and Othello. Jealousy is the driving force behind Othello’s accusations towards Desdemona. Roderigo’s jealousy escalates after Othello’s marriage to Desdemona is secure. Iago’s ill will towards Michael Cassio’s promotion puts Iago in a jealous rage and Iago will do whatever it takes to destroy Michael Cassio not caring who is taken down along the way. Jealousy serves as a theme for William Shakespeare’s Othello. Jealousy starts in the opening scene which ends the play in many of the character’s demise.
In Act 1 of William Shakespeare’s Othello Iago informs wealthy Roderigo of Othello’s marriage to Desdemona. Roderigo who has been paying Iago in his pursuit to win Desdemona’s love is overwhelmed with jealousy. Roderigo ‘s disappointment is strong due to large financial deposits Roderigo had made to Iago to win Desdemona’s love. Iago’s jealousy soars upon hearing the news of Michael Cassio’s promotion to lieutenant which Iago had been passed over for. Roderigo lets it be known Iago serves Othello while Iago states “I follow him to serve my turn upon him.” The sarcasm in Iago’s statement shows Iago’s disloyal service to Othello. Iago only serves Othello for further advancements of Iago’s own power. Iago advises Roderigo to
taint Othello’s marriage by turning Desdemona’s family against Othello. The character of Iago brightly shines a light progressively how jealousy will mold the rest of the play. Iago’s evil ways result in Iago and Roderigo calling out to Brabanzio telling the man Desdemona has been stolen by Informing Brabanzio Desdemona is having sex with Othello. Iago and Roderigo tell Brabanzio of Othello’s ways in magic implying Othello lured Desdemona in with magic. Iago, Roderigo, and Brabanzio take the matter up with the Duke who dismisses the accusations against Othello upon hearing Desdemona’s testimony of pure love for Othello. The Duke suggests Desdemona stay with Brabanzio while Othello goes to Cyprus to defend the island from the Turks in which Othello demands Desdemona’s accommodation on the journey. Othello’s jealousy breaks through for the first time after hearing Desdemona might be left behind. Othello didn’t want to leave his bride behind so every move Desdemona made could be watched. There is not any doubt Othello isn’t in love with Desdemona even though jealousy plays a larger than life role behind Othello’s undying affection towards his new wife. Iago, Othello, and Roderigo paint a picture of how much jealousy has impact on each character by the end of Act 1. At this point in the drama Iago’s jelousy takes the lead of the three men with Iago’s lies about Othello and how Iago serves Othello with ill intentions....

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