Jealousy is a major theme in Othello and it is what drives Othello to commit his heinous deed of killing Desdemona. Othello claims to be a man who "loved not wisely, but too well;of one not easily jealous..."(V.ii.347).
Whilst it is true that his misplaced trust in "honest" Iago and the "ocular proof" of Desdemona's infidelity drive this play to its tragic end, initially Othello does not show any signs of jealousy and is fully aware of Desdemona's friendship with Cassio which, until Iago starts his manipulative scheming, is not a concern for Othello because he knows that Desdemona "had eyes and chose me" (III.iii.189). Iago is all too aware of Othello's " constant, loving, noble nature” which he will use against him to incite his jealousy.
Honor and reputation are equally important to Othello and once his jealousy is aroused and he has the proof he needs - "I saw the handkerchief" (V.ii.66)- he must save Desdemona's own reputation "She turn'd to folly, and she was a whore" (V.ii.133) as well as his own because " nought I did in hate, but all in honor."(V.ii.298)
Othello's jealousy is therefore a result of circumstances and manipulation. Iago is such a strong personality and has everyone fooled - for most of the play- and his own jealousy appears to be the motivation for his destruction of Othello - and everyone else along the way "I do suspect the lusty Moor." Othello gives him no cause to suspect him but Iago will get his revenge " wife for wife"
To build this in to an essay, you will need a strong introduction. There have been many essays written on Othello's jealousy so you need to grab your reader's attention.
Start with a startling statement such as - From a man with a loving and noble nature, Othello is transformed in to a crazed, babbling and irrational monster.
Build your quotes in right from the start. You could continue with something like - The man "that was Othello" (V.ii.285) appears more like Iago than anyone could believe as his jealousy, much like Iago's jealousy, consumes his life and the life of all around him. How could a man, so noble in battle, so respected in society and so loved by his wife, be reduced by such an emotion as to render himself nothing more than "a malignant and turban'd Turk?"(V.ii.356)
This way you have introduced your main topic (jealousy) which is very important in an introductory paragraph. You can lead into the most planned part of your essay - the thesis statement. Ask yourself what the purpose of your essay is. In this instance, you are trying to convince the reader of your essay about Othello's jealousy and, presumably, how it is his undoing. You could add a general fact if it will reinforce your statement such as - Othello, and many more before him and still more after him , become so overcome and self-absorbed by their jealousy that communication fails and common sense has no place in a world of overwhelming coincidences and the schemes of others (in this case Iago).
You will be able to follow with paragraphs which show Othello's jealousy and also a lack of communication as Othello believes only one person - Iago- despite protestations by others. The part that Iago plays in reinforcing Othello's jealousy is also important.
Your conclusion will wrap everything up and basically prove your claims.
Essay about Jealousy in Shakespeare's Othello
1581 Words7 Pages
Jealousy in Othello
Shakespeare is known for his exceptional ability to compose plays full of deceit, trickery, revenge, and jealousy. The play Othello, evolves around the theme of jealousy.
One of Shakespeare's most credible characteristics in his writing is his ability to compose a play in which has a story that originates, and strides on lies. As theses lies were unraveled the central theme of his play became distinct, and clearly visible. The central theme was based on the acts that characters had taken based on their jealous feelings. The flaws within all of the characters lied within their blindness to over look Iago's lies. What made each character jealous, was what they perceived as the truth.…show more content…
Iago was subconsciously telling the audience how jealous he was about Cassio's promotion. And at the same time Roderigo blatantly expressed his jealousy for Desdemona's love for Othello. These two are the most common types of jealousy and envy that we know and express.
"O sir content you.
I follow him to serve my turn upon him...."(lines 38-39)
"It is as sure as you are Roderigo,
Where I the Moor, I would not be Iago.
In following him, I follow but myself.
Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,
But seeming so, for my perculiar end;
For when my outward action doth demonstrate
The native act and figure of my heart
In complient extern, tis not long after
But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
For daws peck at; I am not what I am." (lines 53-62)
Which brings us to who Iago is in this play. Iago, being the cause of this tragedy, is an intricate and complex character, who unraveled the play with his lies. However a person must keep in mind that the direction of Iago's jealousy was not only against sexual love, but against love itself in all manifestations. Iago, being the villain of this tragedy, appeared to have a desire to reach out and destroy the loving, as well as the good in everything. For example, after he unsuccessfully tried to enrage Barbantio with Othello and Desdemona's secret, he began the endless web of lies. As a