Othello's Jealousy Essay

1148 words - 5 pages

When we first begin Othello, we see the start of what we believe to be a beautiful marriage between Othello and Desdemoda. However, at the end, we are faced with the tragic murder of Desdemoda by her dear Othello, bringing this marriage to a gruesome end. We’re left with a sense of horror, sorrow, and bewilderment. How could this have happened? Why did Othello, how did Othello, go from a doting husband to a furious killer? The obvious answer is that Iago deceived him into thinking that Desdemoda had been unfaithful to him. But what caused Othello’s quickness to believe? How was this not cleared up? Multiple factors contributed to this tragedy. One of these is the huge amount of ...view middle of the document...

At the time, it was unusual for a black man to hold a powerful position. Typically, black men were considered lesser men than a white person. As stated on Unc.edu, “Iago holds strongly racist views towards him. He describes Othello and Desdemona's consummation as ‘an old black ram…tupping…a white ewe’ (1.1.90-91) and ‘making the beast with two backs’ (1.1.119-120). Iago calls him ‘an erring barbarian’ (1.3.358) and claims that he is lacking in ‘a fresh appetite, loveliness in favor, sympathy in years, manners, and beauties’ (2.1.230-231).” Having a person above him who Iago regarded as socially below him would most likely have infuriated him, making him jealous of Othello and the position he felt he deserved.
Iago also feels jealous and angry with Othello due to rumors that he has heard. He states that “it is thought abroad that twixt my sheets/He’s done my office” (Othello 1023). Iago feels hatred and jealousy towards Othello for supposedly having sex with Emelia, and wishes to make him feel the burning, painful suspicion towards Desdemoda that Iago had and is feeling towards Emelia. Also, as stated in Scene I of Act II in Othello, Iago loves Desdemoda. It seems that his relationship with Emelia is less than desirable, and Desdemoda’s sweet nature has caught his heart. The fact that Othello, who may have had sex with Iago’s wife, would have obtained such a sweet and lovely woman as his bride would have made Iago seethe, and want to destroy this happy marriage he wishes he had. Due to his jealousy and suspicions, Iago is determined to have revenge on Othello, “wife for wife.”
Iago is also motivated by his jealousy of Cassio, which feeds into his hatred for Othello. When it was time to choose a new lieutenant, Othello passed over Iago and chose “One Michael Cassio, a Florentine/…That never set a squadron in the field.” Iago feels angered at this choice, stating, “I, of whom his eyes had seen the proof/At Rhodes, at Cyprus, and on other grounds/…must be beleed and calmed.” It is obvious that Iago is angry with Othello for choosing Cassio, and jealous of Cassio’s position. Jealousy once again gives him a motive for hating the Moor and desiring his downfall.
Emelia, Iago’s...

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