Iago's Jealousies In Shakespeare's Othello

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Iago's jealousies In Shakespeare's Othello

Thesis Statement

Iago's jealousies and own weaknesses seem to be his key motivation for using others own weaknesses to destroy them, only to backfire and end up killing many.


Iago has jealousy powerful enough to use another person's jealousy in his advantage, use him as a money supplier, henchman, and in the end, kill him. Plus, the Iago's soliloquy at the end of 1.3 is prime evidence of Iago's harsh ideas incorporated in his plan, which is a result of his jealousy. Therefore, true jealousy is slightly revealed from Iago, he shows his motives, and the base of his plot is conjured.

Discussion and Analysis

In William Shakespeare's play Othello, jealousy and deception are both central themes that play an important role in contributing to the fatal consequences that occur in this tragedy. The entire play revolves around the idea of being jealous of others and being deceived by those that are close to you. There are many critical interpretations regarding just how widely the themes of jealousy and deception are explored throughout the characters in the play, and my personal interpretation of the statement has lead me to agree with it. In my opinion, jealousy and deception is not only confined to Othello, it is present in other characters aswell. Othello's characteristics may make him more inclined to be jealous and deceived because of his insecurities, and gullible and trusting nature which is seen by many as a weakness, and it is this belief in deception, which later leads to an evil jealousy that results in dreadful consequences. However, there are other characters in the play who also display jealousy and deception. I will be exploring the characteristics of not only Othello, but the characteristics of the other characters in the play who also display these emotions.

There are many different critical interpretations regarding jealousy in the play. In William Shakespeare: The Tragedies, Paul. A. Jorgensen gives his views on the main motivation in the play: “Othello is a story of raging sexual jealousy prompted apparently by the least credible of motives”. I agree with Jorgensen here, because Othello's jealousy is categorized as sexual, and this jealousy is caused by Iago's sick motives of obtaining revenge on Othello and Cassio. Othello didn't really need any motives to become jealous, because being the loving and passionate person he was, could have been a strong motive in itself. There would already be potential for deception since Othello saw his wife as a possession, and what made it worse was that she was young, white and beautiful, whilst he was a lot older, and black.

From the very first scene in the play, the audience becomes conscious that the characters hold a number of different views of Othello. Before Othello is properly introduced, we are led to believe that he is a 'foul thief'. Iago also describes him as 'an old black ram' (1.1). However, when Othello does appear in Act 1 Scene 2, we begin to reconsider our impressions of ...
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