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How Does Jealousy Lead To Othello's Downfall

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In Othello, it is jealousy that ultimately leads to the downfall of three characters, Roderigo, Othello and Iago. "O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green eyed monster" (III.iii.163). Although, Othello is not the only play where William Shakespeare has made jealousy a central motivator. He did it in Macbeth also. Jealousy has many faces between these two plays and in both they lead to the downfall of characters. It is clear from the first scene that Roderigo is bitter towards Othello because Othello and Desdemona got married, because he also loves her and his jealousy is his motive throughout the entire play. After he saw that Othello and Desdemona were truly married, in a conversation with Iago, he stated "I will incontinently drown…show more content…
Iago is the mastermind behind all of the mayhem in this play, and it all starts in act one when Othello made Michael Cassio the lieutenant over him. This left Iago flabbergasted saying Cassio "never set a squadron in the field" (I.i.22) and he sarcastically says "And I-God bless the mark! His Moorship 's ancient" (I.i.33). Iago was more qualified than Cassio, in experience and also, as Iago thinks, ability. But, Othello did not seem to think so. This caused Iago to feel like he wasn 't appreciated and he vowed to get revenge on Othello. He got his revenge by working Othello 's mind to believe that Desdemona was cheating on him with Cassio. After Iago got Cassio drunk one night, Cassio lost his place as lieutenant. Iago suggested that he go plead to Desdemona to show her he is a good man, and then she would convince Othello. Unfortunately for Cassio, it was all a part of Iago 's plan, he then planted the handkerchief that Othello gave Desdemona as a symbol of love, in Cassio 's room. He told Othello of the connection between Cassio and Desdemona, and as she kept bringing his name up to reinstate him, it became more evident to Othello. Iago gradually drove Othello to the edge, he convinced him of the affair between the two and so he felt the need to kill her. Afterwards Othello found out that she didn 't cheat on him, and so he killed himself. The ultimate payback, driven by…show more content…
Another William Shakespeare classic, Macbeth, also tells the story of a warrior whose motives were driven by jealousy. Macbeth was the greatest warrior in Scotland and most deserving of being next in line to be king, although King Duncan praises Macbeth, he chose to keep the crown in the family, "Our eldest, Malcolm, who we name hereafter The Prince of Cumberland" (I.iv.39). Macbeth had previously received prophecies from three witches which had proven to be true up to that point, the prophecies included being king. So not being selected caught him off guard and he began to envy and grow jealous of Malcolm "Stars hide your fires; Let not light see my black and dark desires" (I.iv.53). King Duncan then decided he would go to Macbeth 's house for dinner where Lady Macbeth had already been made aware of the situation with the witches and that Macbeth was not named king. When Macbeth arrives home she suggests they kill him, after he declines, she starts questioning his manhood and peer pressures him until he decides to kill Duncan. This act scarred the two sons of Duncan so they fled the country and Macbeth was crowned. Obviously the play ends with Macbeth as the villain, dethroned and beheaded. Roderigo, Othello, Iago, and Macbeth each fell victim to jealousy and each of them also ended up dead. This proves that the jealousy in both of these plays lead to the downfall of the characters. Jealousy has the ability to cloud your judgement and cause you to think
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