The Cruelty Of Iago's Jealousy In Othello

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Cruelty is the callous indifference to causing pain in others and is one of the most universally condemned traits. Not only does it violate all standards of morality, it serves no necessary purpose other than for the selfish motives of the perpetrator. Shakespeare uses cruelty throughout the play to demonstrate the catastrophic path many of the characters are going down. It is also important in developing his theme in which he warns against jealousy and revenge as they eventually result in harm being inflicted on oneself. If Iago never set his devious plan in motion to seek revenge against Othello and if Othello never let his jealousy get the better of him, then the reader would never see the effects of the aforementioned vices. In Othello, cruelty functions to exhibit the extent to which Iago is willing to go to achieve his goals and…show more content…
Othello’s jealousy, like Iago’s determination, results in his own downfall. For most of the play Othello appears to be an extremely well composed general who remains calm in the face of disaster. However once Iago confides in Othello that he believes Desdemona is cheating on him, Othello transforms into an entirely different person. Believing her to be unfaithful, Othello heartlessly suffocates Desdemona in her bed despite her denying being involved in any affair up until her final breath. Othello’s jealousy causes him to jump to conclusions and not doing his due diligence in investigating Desdemona’s possible infidelity himself. Once it is proved to Othello that Desdemona was innocent and the affair was fabricated by Iago, Othello despairingly stabs and kills himself. Shakespeare uses Othello to warn against jealousy by providing an example of the possibly fatal consequences to those who harbor such envy. Yet again cruelty comes as a result of the provocation of the character's fatal flaw, and in the case of Othello it was his
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