Jealousy In Othello

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Jealousy and envy are not only two very powerful emotions but can also be seen as two influential forces that can dictate the actions of an individual. These emotions assist in igniting and fanning the fire that motivates people to seek out their desires. In the Shakespearean tragedy, Othello written by William Shakespeare, Iago utilizes his emotions of jealousy and envy as a catalyst to commence his plan of achieving the highest level of military and political influence while also destroying Othello’s social reputation. The development of the character, Iago throughout the play, happens very seamlessly and in a very gradual fashion, with the help of the writing and rhetorical strategies of bestial imagery, dramatic irony, and pathos. Furthermore,…show more content…
His ability to cause chaos simply by uttering a string of words is the foundation on which he builds the rest of his plan. As Iago and Roderigo are under Brabantio’s window, they awaken him to alert him to the fact that his daughter, Desdemona, has run off with Othello. Iago says; “Even now, very now, an old black ram… Is tupping your white ewe…” (1.1.94-101). Iago paints a vivid description of the lovemaking between a black man and a white woman utilizing bestial imagery, that is meant to scare Brabantio into thinking that Desdemona's lamb-like purity is being contaminated by her sexual and emotional relationship with a black man. Similar to using Othello’s fear of Desdemona cheating, Iago uses Brabantio’s fear of his daughter marrying a black man to encourage conflict between him and Othello. Even Though Othello kept his composure throughout his entire encounter with Brabantio, he was later affected by the words uttered by Brabantio: “Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see/She has deceived her father, and may thee”(1.3.333-334). Although, at the time Othello thought little of what Brabantio said, it may have had some effect on his actions throughout the latter half of the play such as, killing Desdemona. Through, Iago’s cunning intelligence he was able to manipulate people to stir up conflict and further his…show more content…
As the play unfolds, many key details in Iago’s plans are revealed which` prompts the audience and informs them about the small intricacies of his scheme. During his soliloquy in Act 3 Scene 3, Iago foreshadows the future events that will act as the turning point of the play; “I will in Cassio’s lodging lose this napkin/And let him find it/Trifles light as air/Are to the jealous confirmations strong/As proofs of holy writ. This may do something./The Moor already changes with my poison./Dangerous conceits are in their natures poisons” (3.3.318-326). Iago will have his wife, Emilia steal Desdemona's handkerchief given to her by Othello. Once the handkerchief is in his possession, he will plant it in Cassio’s room, thus sparking Othello’s jealousy and suspicion of Desdemona and Cassio’s affair. This part of Iago’s plan has many moving parts, that he must facilitate or he risks the chance of getting caught. Moreover, Shakespeare's use of dramatic irony suggests that Iago intelligence outweighs the intelligence of all the other characters in the play. The audience knows the path the handkerchief, took before it got to Cassio. However, when they see Othello’s rash reaction to the handkerchief in the ownership of Cassio, the audience begins to ridicule Othello and other characters who have also succumbed to Iago’s lies. The chicanery and elaborate scheme of IAGO enabled him to outsmart his

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