• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Othello is a play about jealousy, Iago's innate jealousy and the imposed jealousy of Othello, discuss.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Othello is a play about jealousy, Iago's innate jealousy and the imposed jealousy of Othello, discuss. Othello is a Shakesperian tragedy in which the valuable qualities of the favourable characters are manipulated against them in such a way that their own qualities catalyse their own downfall. At the start of the play all is well between the honest Othello and sweet Desdemona until Iago slowly poisons Othello's mind until it cumulates in a bloody and murderous finale. Shakespeare's plays are well renowned for their examination of human emotions through drama, 'Romeo and Juliet' examined the nature love, 'Hamlet' examined the characteristic of having a weak mind, and both of these plays revealed the dangerous aspects to extreme feelings. Othello is a play that also explores the destruction that human emotion can lead to, and this essay shall consider the proposition that Othello is a play about the emotion of jealousy and its consequences. Iago is the first cause of all the trouble in Othello. His apparent motive for wanting to oust Cassio in favour of himself is his belief that Cassio is less fit and capable of the position of lieutenant than he. "Nor the division of a battle he knows More than a spinster, unless bookish rhetoric, Wherein the togged consuls can propose, As masterly as he. Mere prattle without practise In all his soldiership." Iago, Act I, scene I. The harsh sounding 'pr' sound in the alliteration in Iago's speech suggests his anger at Cassio's appointment. ...read more.

Middle

"If consequence do but approve my dream My boat sails freely both with wind and steam". I believe getting so much enjoyment out of their misery is a point against 'Othello' being about Iago's innate jealousy because jealous people tend to act irrationally. Iago methodically plans his actions. However, the fact Iago is so bitter could also have hardened him over the years. He seems to be jealous of anyone who is valued favourably, and resentful to anyone who values someone else more highly than himself. In this way I am of the opinion that the play is very much about Iago's innate jealousy transforming him into a bitter man who derives his only pleasure in life from seeing people who could be happy turn miserable. Iago's tragedy is perhaps that he can never be happy himself and so spends his life making other's miserable with motiveless-malignity. However, in the book 'Seven', a serial killer says "I took it away because I envy your normal life detective, so it seems that envy is my sin" having killed his victims he admits he wishes he could be normal. Jealousy and envy are closely interlinked, so if a serial killer who kills helpless victims even prefers to die because of his jealousy of normal happy people, then the fact Iago shows no remorse perhaps wagers that Iago did not primarily act out of his jealousy but lust for causing pain. Othello is very much in love with Desdemona at the start of the play, he feels his soul bound to hers and has complete faith and trust in her. ...read more.

Conclusion

Othello should have believed Desdemona but the seemingly honest Iago used everyone's good traits against them, and caused the bloody mess single handedly. To conclude, Othello is perhaps a play about the innate jealousy of Iago, however, I am left unsure about the precise motives Iago has. I tend to agree with Coleridge, that Iago is motivated simple by the direst cruelty, although there is substantial evidence, such as his behaviour towards people who seem happier than himself, that Iago suffers from innate jealousy aswell. The play to me, seems to be more about mistrust, and the tragedy that Othello believes Iago over his wife. The fact Othello is so quick to doubt both his love and his best friend also suggests that Othello has a weakness in character judgement and solidarity of emotion. However, Iago was a very intelligent manipulator, and had luck on his side, to create a catharsis of emotion which drives Othello to kill his beloved, and how Iago manages to do this, is essentially what the play is about. It leaves the open question for me, that did even Shakespeare not know exactly what drove Iago, did the writer have doubts, or was he just unable to convey such a complex character within the confines of a play. 1 It is a psychological theory that if someone/something you love is unreachable, your mind will automatically begin to devalue them to ease the pain of not having that person/thing. It is easier to accept a whore does not love you than to accept a genuine pure girl does not love you. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Othello section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Othello essays

  1. Othello Essay: Jealousy.

    The atmosphere fails to ever change throughout the entire play. It begins with Iago going through a jealous rage that General Othello did not give him the position of lieutenant, where in fact, he believes he deserved the spot. It sets the tone for the entire play, causing the viewers

  2. Othello and Coleridge

    There is a difference between Iago's internal motives and his external motives. The external motives are the motives that he tells Roderigo and the internal motives are the ones portrayed in his soliloquies where he directly addresses the audience. We see Iago's real character through these, or at least the character that Iago thinks he is.

  1. Explore how Shakespeare examines the themes of jealousy and deception in Othello

    to heaven. 'Tis gone. Arise, black vengeance, from thy hollow cell!" This shows that Shakespeare uses a metaphor in Othello's language substituting his black race for something disgusting. Othello is shown with him thinking his race is something negative. Othello is a trusting character in the play, a man who is loyal and believing.

  2. Why does Iago destroy the other characters in the play?

    As I have already mentioned, Iago has feelings for Desdemona which may lead towards hatred of Othello as he has her- a white woman even though he is black. When Iago says 'devils will the blackest sins put on, they do suggest at first with heavenly shows as I do

  1. "The motive-hunting of a motiveless malignity" was Coleridge's comment on the Iago soliloquies. Evaluate ...

    To accept Iago as a simple-minded deviant would be to reduce those he manipulates to incredulous fools.

  2. Othello Essay Is Jealousy Solely To Blame For The Tragic Events.

    was listening in the background and Iago cleverly whispered Bianca's name to Cassio. So Othello thought they were talking about Desdemona so Othello became so overwhelmed he jumped to the wrong conclusion due to jealousy and thought Cassio was having an affair with his wife.

  1. "Damn her, lewd minx O damn her, damn her!" Is Othello's tragic conclusion solely ...

    of the role, there is grounding for it built into the character. This flirtatiousness increases Othello's belief that she is "a strumpet" (IV.ii.83) and a "cunning whore" (91) as she is flirtatious with Cassio, who is equally flattering and flirtatious.

  2. The strongest emotion Shakespeare shows us in Act 1 is Iagos jealousy of Cassio ...

    He feels betrayed by his wife and emasculated by Othello. Although you could argue that he is jealous of what Othello has, i.e. a loving relationship, a beautiful wife, a good reputation and an honourable job, the fact remains that Iago never specifically voices any of these reasons during the first act.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work