Shakespeare’s bookkeeper or in other words Micheal Cassio.

Shakespeare’s Othello is a popular literary work throughout which the theme of jealousy is evident. This tragedy focuses on the downfall of Othello and other significant characters as a result of jealousy. Jealousy, did not just cause the deaths of three of Othello’s main characters, but it also resulted in the unfortunate murders of innocent ones. The theme of jealousy is prominent throughout the play as it serves as motivation for revenge, emotional abuse and, lust. Iago’s cruel actions are manifested as a result of his jealous nature and his desire for revenge. Iago’s first moment of jealousy is apparent when he talks about Micheal Cassio. In Act 1, Scene 1, Iago says, “But he, sir, had th’ election, and I, of whom his eyes had seen the proof…other ground ..Christian and heathen, must be belee’d…debitor and creditor.” In this quote, it’s evident that Iago is jealous that Othello has chosen Micheal Cassio over him, even though Othello saw his fighting skills first in Cyprus and Rhodes. Iago is insecure about his career as he believes it has been cut short by some bookkeeper or in other words Micheal Cassio. Iago continues to express his feelings by saying, “This counter-caster..must his lieutenant be and I, bless the mark, his Moorship’s ancient.” This quote truly brings to light Iago’s jealousy, as he envies Cassio of becoming the Moor’s lieutenant while he himself is the Moor’s flag bearer. Iago believes that he deserved that job, and therefore he starts making plans to take over Michael Cassio. In Act 1, Scene 3, Iago says, “I hate the Moor, and it is thought abroad, that ‘twixt my sheets’ has done my office. I know not if ‘t be true, but I, for mere suspicion in that kind, will do as if for surety.” Earlier, Iago stated that he hates Othello as he chose Micheal Cassio to be his lieutenant and not him, but in this quote Iago states that he hates the Moor as he has heard a rumour that he has been sleeping with his wife Emilia. Iago says he is unsure if the rumour is actually true or not, but he has decided to destroy Othello’s life either way. Iago’s envy towards Micheal Cassio for becoming the Moor’s lieutenant, as well as his jealousy towards Othello for his imagined affair with his wife Emilia, serves as an important motivating factor for his actions in order to take revenge. Iago’s jealousy makes him question a way where he can get Micheal Cassio’s position and destroy Othello’s life at the same time. He decides, he will tell Othello that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio, and since Cassio is a good looking man it won’t be hard to believe. Iago says, “The Moor is of..and open nature that..honest that but seem…as tenderly be led by th’ nose as asses are.” This quote is evidence of how Iago plans on taking advantage of the Moor’s open and straightforward nature in order to take his revenge. Iago believes that the Moor will believe any man that seems to be honest therefore he can easily manipulate him.Another character that is greatly influenced by jealousy through emotional abuse is Othello.  In this play, Iago is responsible for planting the seeds of suspicion in Othello’s mind. In Act 3, scene 3, Cassio is speaking to Desdemona and asking her to help him by talking to Othello on his behalf, to which Desdemona agrees. In the meanwhile, Othello and Iago enter just as Cassio is departing after embracing Desdemona. Iago, seizes this opportunity to make Othello jealous by commenting, “”Ha, I like not that.” Furthermore Iago insinuates that Cassio was not just departing rather he was “steal(ing) away so guilty-like” Iago initiates jealousy in Othello’s subconscious by making such comments about his wife and Cassio. In Act 3, Scene 3, Iago says, “Oh, beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.” During this conversation between Othello and Iago, Iago continues to imply that he is aware of something that he refuses to reveal, and Othello says he would never let jealousy take over him. Iago continues to drop hints about Othello’s wife due to which Othello is consumed with jealousy and suspicion. Othello’s fears are brought forth when he begins to doubt himself and ponders about how unnatural it is for Desdemona to love him. During Othello’s soliloquy, he thinks ” Haply, for I am black..not those..that chamberers have, or for I am declined ..Into..yet that’s not much..She’s gone, I am abused, and my relief..loathe her.” Othello thinks that maybe Desdemona is cheating on him as he is black, doesn’t have nice manners and he is getting old. He believes that Desdemona is gone away from him, and the only choice he is left with is to hate her.  In Act 3, Iago tells Othello that he saw the handkerchief he gave to Desdemona with Cassio. Othello’s suspicions are confirmed when Desdemona is unable to produce that handkerchief in front of Othello after he has demanded it several times. Othello’s mind is filled with jealousy, rage and a desire for vengeance. Due to Iago’s desire for revenge he uses emotional abuse on Othello causing him to lose his piece of mind and strangle his wife that he once deeply loved.Othello is based on the confinement of one character in another. Roderigo, is deeply confined in Iago in the beginning of the play.  He is deeply in love with Desdemona and would do anything to win her over. His first moment of jealousy is evident when in Act 1, Scene 1,  he says, “What a full ..thick lips.. if he can carry’t thus?” This quote reveals that Roderigo is jealous of Othello as he calls him ‘thick lips’ as a form of a racist comment. Roderigo is desperately in love with Desdemona to the point that when Iago says, “put money in thy purse” he sells all his land and assets to win over Desdemona. Iago, as we know is a very manipulative character, therefore he uses Roderigo to carry out his plans of confronting Barbantio about Desdemona and Othello. Roderigo’s hatred for Othello is fueled by jealousy as he feels heartbroken since Desdemona chose Othello to be her husband. Iago uses Roderigo’s lust for Desdemona as a mean of getting his work done. In Act 4, Scene 2, Iago manipulates Roderigo to kill Cassio by saying, “Oh, no, he..taketh away with him the fair Desdemona.. here by some..wherein none can be so ..removing of Cassio.” He tells Roderigo, that Othello will take away his love Desdemona to Mauritania, and the best way to stop them from leaving is by killing Cassio. Roderigo so in love, decides to do what Iago suggests and the next day goes to kill Cassio. His attempt to kill Cassio does not work, and eventually leads to his own death. It is quite evident that Roderigo’s lust for Desdemona was cleverly taken advantage of by Iago, leading to Roderigo’s own death. In conclusion, the theme of jealousy in Othello is an indication of how one’s insecurities can be manipulated by people like Iago to lead to their downfall. Jealousy is prevalent throughout the play in various forms such as desire for revenge, emotional abuse and lust.


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