Prominent Theme in Shakespeare’s Othello

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Within the play “Othello, written by William Shakespeare, the main and prominent theme of the play concerns with Othello’s primary flaw, his jealousy. Thus, it is evident within the play the term “The Green-Eyed Monster whom Iago refers as jealousy suggests why

The role of jealousy within Othello is focused from his delusional jealousy described as “Othello Syndrome, how his jealousy can resonate with readers and the connection with real-life marriages.

In Shakespeare’s Othello, he introduces the term of the “green-eyed monster and warns Othello to not let it consume himself for believing Desdemona’s infidelity, despite Iago purposely planting doubt in Othello to cause tensions within his marriage.

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“O, beware, my lord, of jealousy!// It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock// The meat it feeds on.” (Act 3. Scene 3. 195-197.) Thus, his jealousy is the primary reason why Othello is destroyed because of his envious jealousy of Desdemona and Cassio having an affair. In addition, the initiation of the events that follow that begins his jealousy is because of Iago and the downfall of his marriage.

In Cipriani’s journal, “Dangerous Passion: Othello Syndrome and Dementia. she explains the term of jealousy and what occurs to an individual with Othello Syndrome. “Jealousy is a complex emotion that most people have experienced at some time in life; pathological jealousy refers primarily to an irrational state. Othello syndrome is a psychotic disorder characterized by delusion of infidelity or jealousy; it often occurs in the context of medical, psychiatric or neurological disorders (Cipriani 467).

In Jain’s journal, “Othello: A Tragedy of Passion he states the play as a tragedy concerning marriage relations which is intertwined with Othello Syndrome within relationships. “Othello, being a domestic tragedy, deals with marital relations of husband and wife thus’ reducing the scope of the play to a narrow range. The characters are limited and the incidents and episodes are confined to one family and their friends. It marks the single passion of jealousy. In it, we leam how Iago, a polished villain, poisons the pure relations of a credulous husband and an innocent wife (Jain 55). Thus, Jain explains that the perspective of the characters are limited because of their friends and family’s opinions and that the marriage between Othello and Desdemona was a real-loving marriage based on their mutual fondness and appreciation of each other. In addition, that the love of Othello and Desdemona deconstructs the barriers of color or nationality, but this love ended as quickly as Othello’s thoughts of jealousy began.

In Waugaman’s journal, “Othello and the Green-Eyed Monster of Jealousy he clarifies the separation of  “Highly pathological forms of jealousy lead to a false perception of betrayal when there has been none. Jealousy is intensified by projection onto another person of one’s own disloyal impulses and acts. The works of Shakespeare offer us extraordinary insights into human psychology, including jealousy. From his profound self-awareness and from his penetrating observations of other people, Edward de Vere understood and explicated the psychodynamics of the “green-eyed monster of pathological jealousy (Waugaman 116). Furthermore, the theme of jealousy is connected with Desdemona and Othello, and how it intertwines in real life. Thus, that love can consume those who experience it and how in Othello’s case he lets his major flaw aside to love Desdemona. Moreover, it leaves Othello being naive into being corrupted by Iago and believing Iago’s lies preventing him from seeking the truth. Othello chooses to believe Iago over Desdemona because of his jealousy preventing him from rationally thinking to irrational actions.

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Prominent Theme In Shakespeare's Othello. (2020, Jan 10). Retrieved from