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Comparing the use of jealousy in Shakespeare's, Othello, and Elizabeth Cary's The Tragedy of Mariam.

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Introduction

In Shakespeare's, Othello, and Elizabeth Cary's The Tragedy of Mariam, although jealousy consumes Othello and Herod, and death is the end result for their wives Desdemona and Mariam, this jealousy would not have been a major factor had it not been provoked by other people, who, in these cases, are the characters Iago and Salome. Iago and Salome manage to turn Othello and Herod from loving husbands, to husbands who are so consumed with jealousy that they wrongly put their wives to death. Though Iago and Salome provoke Othello and Herod for entirely different reasons, the end result is the same; the men come to believe that their wives are unfaithful, therefore deserving to die. The similarities and differences in the types of lies in which Iago and Salome use to provoke the two men into believing their wives infidelities will be explored, and how these lies go about leading up to the same conclusion. It is quite evident from some of the speeches made by Iago and Salome that the sabotage of Desdemona and Mariam is not just a spontaneous affair. ...read more.

Middle

So will I turn her virtue into pitch, And out of her own goodness make the net That shall emesh them all" (Othello, 2.3. 327-336). This scheme by Iago is what makes the relationship between Othello and Desdemona fall apart. Iago will hurt anyone to create this jealousy, including the innocent Desdemona. Iago has a numerous amount of other schemes to try to create jealousy in the relationship of Othello and Desdemona as well. After Cassio and Desdemona have met a few times to discuss how she will get Cassio back into Othello's good graces, Iago points out to Othello how much he has seen the other two together. He does not just tell Othello bluntly, but throws hints as if he is too afraid or unsure to say the truth. Eventually Othello drags the supposed truth out of Iago, and from this sly move on Iago's part, the notion is placed in Othello's mind that Desdemona may be having an affair with Cassio. For example, after Iago has told Othello the supposed truth, Othello, now caught up in the lie states, "I am abused, and my relief/ Must be to loathe her. ...read more.

Conclusion

Countermand her death" (The Tragedy of Mariam, 4.7. 109-112). Salome provokes him again by making Mariam look guilty. She states, "Then you'll no more remember what hath passed?/ Sohemus' love and hers shall be forgot?/ 'Tis well, in truth. That fault may be her last,/ And she may mend, though yet she love you not" (TTOM, 4.7. 113-117). After Salome says this to Herod, he proclaims she is correct and that Mariam shall die. Salome provoked Harod with her lies, and from this, he believes that Mariam cheated on him with Sohemus, thus causing her death. In conclusion, the cause of death for both Desdemona and Mariam were due in part to the jealousy of their husbands, however, the main cause was from the lies told to them by Iago and Salome. Had these two not made up any of the lies, there would have been no cause for alarm, and the women would not have had reason to die. Though Iago and Salome both had different reasons for the lies and stories they told, the end results were the same. Innocent wives were killed because of the lies of others, and had Iage and Salome kept quiet and not made false accusations, the charges of infidelity would not have been laid. ...read more.

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