The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice : How Does Jealousy Contribute to Othellos Downfall?

Authors Avatar by lwalsh226yahoocom (student)

The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice : How Does Jealousy Contribute to Othello’s Downfall?

Jealousy is extremely powerful. It has the power to destroy relationships and engulf the mind. Once the thoughts of jealousy take root in one’s mind, they wreak havoc and destruction. Jealously can easily ignite anger in a person and cause its victim fall prey to obsession. In Shakespeare’s tragic play, The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice, several of the characters fall prey to jealousy. However, no character falls victim to jealousy more than Othello. Jealousy eventually helps lead Othello to his tragic downfall by causing Othello to abandon all rationality, and become extremely gullible.

In the play, Iago serves as the instigator for most of Othello’s problems. Iago is very jealous and upset at the beginning of the play. He is jealous of both Cassio and Othello. However, the jealousy soon turns to anger and then thoughts of revenge.  He is angry with Othello because Othello did not give him the promotion he thought he deserved. Instead he gave it Cassio. Iago also believes his wife, Emilie, slept with Othello. "It is thought abroad that 'twixt my sheets / He has done my office" (Shakespeare 1.3.369-370). The jealousy he suffers causes him to desire revenge. "Till I am even’d with him, wife for wife, /Or failing so, yet that I put the Moor / At least into a jealousy so strong / That judgment cannot cure" (Shakespeare 2.1.299-302). Iago becomes transfixed with revenge and he will not stop until he ruins Othello’s life.

Join now!

Therefore, Iago comes up with a plan to get revenge on Othello by lying to him, and convincing him that Desdemona is cheating on him with Cassio. Through several conversations between Othello and Iago, Iago implies that he knows something that he refuses to divulge regarding Cassio and Othello’s wife, Desdemona.  However, Othello denies that he would give himself over to jealousy (Shakespeare 2.1.134-146). Nonetheless, Othello does voice his concern from Brabantio's warning from earlier in the play. "Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see:/She has deceived her father, and may thee" (Shakespeare 1.3.242-243). This causes Othello ...

This is a preview of the whole essay