How Does Shakespeare Use Jealousy In Othello

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The play Othello by William Shakespeare is a story based upon the revenge of two characters, Othello and Iago. Shakespeare uses jealousy, as a central theme throughout the play, in fact without this emotion the play would have no solid plot. Shakespeare unveils the scariness of jealousy and its unnatural qualities.

Throughout the play jealousy is often referred to as a devouring emotion, “O beware, my lord of jealousy! It is the green eyed monster doth mock, The meat it feeds on.” Shakespeare uses this to give the emotion a sense of being devoured or devouring. This fits in extremely well with Iago’s description of Othello as being “eaten up with passion”. This suggests how strong Othello’s jealousy really is, once Othello becomes convinced that his wife is unfaithful Iago continues to feed his jealousy which causes Othello to behave like a monster. However it is extremely ironic that Iago says this to Othello as the audience knows that Iago is the one “eaten up”, with jealousy and Othello is none the wiser to this.

As an audience we are led to feel as though Othello’s jealousy is not motivated by hatred, but rather than by
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“Nature would not invest herself in such shadowing passion without some instruction. Its not words that shake me thus. Pish! Noses, ears and lips. Is’t possible? Confess handkerchief! O devil!” Previously in all of Othello’s speeches he spoke in first or third person, this demonstrated to the audience his nobility and security, whereas the use of pronouns in this speech suggests his insecurity. As well as this towards the end of his speech “Pish! Noses, ears and lips.” It is a struggle to even make sense of Othello’s language, these lines demonstrate that jealousy has not only degraded his attitude but has broken down a strong willed man’s

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