"Othello": The Difference Between Professional And Sexual Jealousy As They Affect The Play

1210 words - 5 pages

Many of the characters in "Othello" were jealous of other people's possessions. There are only two types of jealousy in the play, sexual and professional. Roderigo, Othello, and Bianca were sexually jealous. Iago was both professionally and sexually jealous. Jealousy was a major idea of Othello since it lurked within so many of the characters and greatly affected the plot.Roderigo was sexually jealous of Othello because he wanted Desdemona. His jealousy was revealed the earliest in the play. The play was opened by Roderigo's lines of "(Tush,) never tell me! I take it much unkindly / That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse / As if the strings were thine, shouldst know of this." (1.1.1-3). In the movie this part was presented in a much more interpretable way than the script, in which Roderigo was peeking through a crack on the window to see Desdemona and Othello's betrothal, and he upbraided Iago for not telling him that Desdemona is in love with Othello because he hired Iago to inform him of things about Desdemona. Later in the scene Roderigo and Iago decided to go tell Desdemona's father about her engagement with Othello. After yelled out under Brabantio's balcony, Brabantio responded to Roderigo "The worser welcome. / I have charged thee not to haunt about my doors." (1.1.106-107) and "My daughter is not for thee" (1.1.109). Brabantio's response proved that Roderigo use to be a suitor of Desdemona, and Brabantio had already rejected his proposal. Roderigo was used by Iago for many times in the play. After Othello made his engagement with Desdemona known to the Duke, Roderigo lost his hope on owning Desdemona. Iago reassured him and encouraged him to sell all of his land in exchange of money to follow Desdemona to Cyprus, because Iago wanted to draw more money from him. Roderigo was easily persuaded and said "I am changed." (1.3.421), which meant that he no longer feels hopeless. He then happily granted Iago's suggestion through "I'll sell all my land." (1.3.425). The importance of this shift in Roderigo is it made the audience think he is an unintelligent man who was fooled by Iago, but he could have been an clever person who just happened to make the folly decision because his sexual jealousy was so strong, and he desperately wanted Desdemona. Later in the play Roderigo was used by Iago for another two times in his plot against Cassio, this showed how a man can be influenced by sexual jealousy and become a witless fool, but jealousy does not always make people unintelligent, since Iago's professional jealousy motivated him to set up his cunning plot.Iago was professionally jealous of Cassio because he was not appointed as Othello's lieutenant and the position was taken over by Cassio. He revealed his hate and despise against Cassio in the very beginning of the play, "One Michael Cassio, a Florentine, / ...That never set a squadron in the field," (1.1.21,23). In the lines he described Cassio as a Florentine who knew nothing about war. He also...

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