Transformation of Othello in the Play
From a man with a admiring and worthy nature, Othello is transformed into a frenzied, blathering, and illogical monster. Othello believes and asserts himself to be a man who “loved too much, but who wasn’t wise about it. I was not easily made jealous, but once I was tricked and manipulated, I worked myself into a frenzy.”(5.2.305-306). This quote aids the claim that jealousy is a major theme in the play Othello and it’s what motivates Othello to engage in the crime of killing his wife, Desdemona. Not only did jealousy cause Othello to do some dirty and shameful things, but it also caused other characters such as Iago to go corrupt.
Iago’s jealousy of Othello drives him to dismantle both , Desdemona and Othello. Iago starts out by stating, “I hate the Moor, and there’s a widespread rumor that he’s slept with my wife. I’m not sure it’s true, but just the suspicion is enough for me.”(1.3.57-58). This quote states how Iago hates Othello because “the Moor” passed over him over a promotion and he’s heard a rumor that Othello has been hooking up with Iago’s wife, Emilia. Iago states that he doesn’t really know if the rumor is accurate, but he’s gonna go ahead and proceed to wreck Othello’s life anyways. Then later in the book Iago realizes that real proof of Desdemona’s supposed infidelity isn’t necessary because mere suspicion is enough to Othello’s jealous, which later on destroys them both. He states this by saying, “To a jealous man, a meaningless little thing like this looks like absolute proof. This handkerchief may be useful to me.”(3.3.157-158). With all this being said it’s clear that Iago’s jealousy also played a key part in Othello’s motives in the book Othello.
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Othello’s misplaced trust in Iago and the proof of Desdemona’s infidelity, drives this play to its dreadful end, since honor and reputation are equally important to Othello. This arouses his jealousy and he then has the proof he needs as he states, “I saw him holding the handkerchief! You liar, you’re turning my heart to stone, and making me call what I’ll do murder,when I Had been thinking of it as a sacrifice! I saw the handkerchief.”(5.2.277-278). Othello’s jealousy is on display with this quote. His jealousy is a result of circumstances and manipulation.
In conclusion, jealousy plays a critical role in the play Othello, as you can see it killed both Desdemona and Othello, and corrupted Iago. Jealousy still plays a role in modern day society, maybe not to the same extent as the play but still somewhat in the same nature. In today’s society, jealousy can be sparked by a potential threat to one’s mate, social standing, emotional and physical well-being or resources. In some cases in today’s world jealousy is handled in the same way as Othello handled his, by killing his spouse. Let this be a lesson as not to let your jealousy encourage you to do any irrational things like this. Although this book was written a very long time ago, some of the same actions still occur.