Othello Essay

Submitted By jhsportsman988
Words: 1934
Pages: 8

Othello Essay

“O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on;” This line from Othello, a play written by William Shakespeare, helps to explain one of the major themes of the novel—jealousy. According to dictionary.com, jealousy is defined as, “mental uneasiness from suspicion or fear of rivalry, unfaithfulness, etc., as in love or aims”. Jealousy is used within the play as the driving force behind various characters’ actions. It is also one of the tragic flaws of the tragic hero, Othello, which helps lead to his downfall. Jealousy caused Roderigo to be under the manipulation of Iago, caused Othello to murder his innocent wife, and caused Iago to plot a scheme so evil that it lead to the death of four innocent people—Roderigo, Emilia, Desdemona, and Othello—who all did no wrong. One major character that fell victim to jealousy was Roderigo. He was paying Iago to help him lure Desdemona. Upon learning that Desdemona has fallen in love and run off with Othello, Roderigo was pissed off and didn’t know what he could do to still get her. Iago then uses Roderigo’s jealousy against him. “Call up her father, Rouse him: poison his delight, proclaim him in the streets; incense her kinsmen, and, though he in a fertile climate dwell, plague him with flies:” Iago creates a plan that can benefit the both of them. Roderigo will inform Brabantio of his daughter’s actions in an attempt to have Brabantio go after Othello. Brabantio would then take action against Othello and accuse him of kidnapping his daughter. With Othello condemned by Brabantio, there would be nobody to stop Roderigo from having Desdemona. Roderigo agrees to this plan, without even considering the fact that he could potentially ruin an innocent man in Othello, who has done nothing to him. Roderigo’s jealousy was so strong that he was willing to do anything at all costs to be with Desdemona. Roderigo’s jealousy, however, would become increasingly unstable to the point where Iago would have to eliminate his main ally. Roderigo at this point in Act IV, is not only consumed by jealousy, but has lost all of his patience. He threatens to kill Iago because he is still without Desdemona. His jealousy is causing Roderigo to demand Desdemona or Iago will feel his wrath. “I will make myself known to Desdemona: if she will return me my jewels, I will give over my suit and repent my unlawful solicitation; if not, assure yourself I will seek satisfaction of you.” Roderigo finally has started to overcome his jealousy with Desdemona, but at Iago’s expense. Roderigo wants to approach Desdemona, and will give up on her if she will return the gifts he had Iago deliver for her. However, Iago never delivered the gifts. If Roderigo were to discover this, his jealous rage would be taken out on Iago. Iago couldn’t take a chance in this situation so he would have to kill Roderigo. Roderigo was so controlled by his jealousy, that he got tangled within Iago’s web of lies by wanting Desdemona so badly. Unfortunately for Roderigo, the only way out was for him to die. Othello is likely the one character in the play that saw the worst effects of jealousy. However, at the beginning of the play, a different kind of Othello was introduced. “Not I; I must be found. My parts, my tittle, and my perfect soul shall manifest me rightly” “Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them” “Where will you that I go to answer this your charge? Othello’s characterization in Act I is a confident, controlled, and rational man. He will not fight for any reason when he approached by Brabantio and his armed men. Rather, he feels that all he has done for Venice and the fact that he is the general, will benefit his case. He does not exhibit any impetuous behavior and is able to think things through rationally. However, Iago would soon converse with this Othello, and turn him into an irrational and jealous man. Iago does this in a unique way. He first asks…