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Othello is depicted as a black man who is noble, powerful as well as a good man in the play “Othello.” The downfall of Othello can be attributed to his jealousy but not his blackness. The main characters are Othello (a moor in charge of the Venice armies), Cassio (lieutenant of Othello), Bianca (girlfriend of Cassio), Iago (greatest villain of Shakespeare), Emilia (wife of Iago), Roderigo (a soldier in love with Desdemona) and Duke of Venice (ruler of Venice). This essay seeks to illustrate the different instances of jealousy in the play.
Theme of jealousy
The major theme is of “Othello” is jealousy. There are three kinds of jealousy in the play Othello. First there is Iago’s personal and professional jealousy owing to the feeling of envy which makes him to set events in motion. The second kind of jealousy is Bianca’s suspicious which are similar to those of Othello and lastly Othello’s jealousy which propels him towards the tragedy (Putnam, Jennifer).
Othello has chosen the handsome young Cassio to be his lieutenant and this makes Iago angry because he considers himself fit and should have been chosen. This makes Iago to develop a feeling of avenging for not being chosen to be the second in command in the army. Othello is in love with a white girl by the name Desdemona and they are planning to get married. Iago (soldier) gets another soldier Roderigo to go to Desdemona’s father to tell him about this marriage which Iago hopes to be stopped. The plan does not work because when Desdemona’s father reports the incident to the Duke of Venice, the Duke holds a meeting with the two (Othello and Desdemona) allowing them to get married as it downs on him that the two are really in love with one another. The Duke instead asks Othello to lead the army to Cyprus to stop a Turkish attack and gives him the permission to be accompanied with Desdemona. Iago tries the second time where he gets Cassio very drunk and arranges for Roderigo to fight with Cassio in the street. Othello becomes angry to his second in command and dismisses him (Othello).
Iago once again decides to ruin the marriage of Othello and Desdemona. He is set to make Othello think that Desdemona and Cassio are secret lovers. He tells Cassio to go and see Desdemona and ask her to talk to her husband to give Cassio his job back. Iago goes to Othello and cautions him to be careful about Desdemona and Cassio thereby advising him to watch secret meetings to see if Desdemona is unfaithful to Othello. Othello becomes mad with jealousy and he asks Iago to kill Cassio and promises to make him the new lieutenant. Out of jealousy, Othello says that he will kill Desdemona as well. Othello’s words accuse Desdemona of unfaithfulness where he says Desdemona’s hands are “moist” and “hot.” This causes an allusion of a lustful nature in Desdemona. Othello is warned by Shakespeare through the following statement “ O, beware my lord of Jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock The meat it feeds on.” This time round, Iago steals Desdemona’s handkerchief which he hides in Cassio’s bedroom. Bianca (Cassio’s Mistress) is seen by Othello with the handkerchief of Desdemona making him to believe that his wife is unfaithful (Othello).
Roderigo is envious of Othello because he wishes to be with Desdemona. He believes that Cassio and Desdemona are engaged in a love affair. Iago is gets involved very much in this where he even creates lies as well as implementing misleading situations. He is jealousy of Cassio. Iago is blinded by envy and anger such that he completes his goal of making everyone to become jealousy by manipulating and betraying characters. Roderigo loves Desdemona very much. Iago is paid by Roderigo in order for him to woo her away from Othello. Iago is therefore portrayed as a villain in this play. Iago plots a plan to exploit Othello by ruining his name where he calls him a thief. He says that Othello has stolen Desdemona’s heart using witchcraft.
Iago persuades Roderigo to confront her father (Brabantio). This can be illustrated where Iago tells Doderigo that “call up her father, Rouse him…..poison his delights……with like timorous accent and dire yell.” In this instance, Iago is not concerned with what is in the heart of Roderigo nor does he care the fact that Roderigo loves Desdemona and wishes to be with her. His intentions are mainly not to assist Roderigo get Desdemona but he seeks to have Brabantio to be after Othello and this will cause Othello distress (Othello).
Iago persuades Roderigo to kill Casssio and this goes wrong whereby it ends up in Roderigo bleeding. Iago stabs Cassio in the leg as he (Cassio) walks in the dark and then pretends to have known the person who injured him whom he says is Bianca (Cassio’s mistress).Iago tells his wife(Emilia) to go to Desdemona and tell her that Roderigo is death and Cassio wounded. Othello first gets to Desdemona’s bedroom and finds her asleep, kisses her and puts a pillow over her face killing her. He says, “Have you prayed tonight Desdemona?” Emilia rushes in and finds Desdemona in her last breath where she says that she is innocent and Othello should not be blamed and Desmona dies. Emilia tells the other people who comes into the room with Iago the truth about the man who caused all this. Othello tries to kill Iago but Iago kills Emilia and runs out. Othello blames him-self making him to commit suicide. Outside Iago is captured and taken away (Othello).
There are three kinds of jealousy in the play Othello are Iago’s personal and professional jealousy owing to the feeling of envy which makes him to set events in motion, Bianca’s suspicion which are similar to those of Othello and lastly Othello’s jealousy which propels him towards the tragedy.