Melony Galicia Ms. Zongker AP English lll February 20, 2017 Driven by Jealousy In Othello, Shakespeare illustrates the dangers of jealousy through the belligerent actions of the characters. Jealousy can be incited by circumstantial proof, that can ruin lives. Shakespeare uses dramatic techniques to aid him in conveying his message. Being fearful and insecure causes one to become jealous of the evils that follow jealousy. For example , when Iago acknowledges that the lieutenant promotion was passed onto cassio instead of him, he became infuriated and envious, even referring to Cassio as a bookworm .
This leads him to create a plot to satisfy his jealousy against his half-brother. The entire deception which causes the ruin of Hero's character, a woman which Don John has no reason to dislike or want to harm, acts contrived by him because he is envious of his brother's legitimacy, high nobility, and power. Don John states “Come, come, let us thither. This may prove food to my displeasure. That young start-up hath all the glory of my overthrow.
His ultimate choice is choosing between trusting Desdemona or Iago. Iago’s influence on Othello is so great that he is transformed into a man that no one recognizes. His jealousy is terrifying because of the noble way he originally held himself. Othello does not even recognize the man he becomes and refers to himself as “he that was Othello” (“Othello.” Shakespeare A-Z 471). Othello’s jealous spirit drives him to murder his wife; he cannot stop his obsession with the alleged affair until she is harmed (“Othello.” Shakespeare for Students 663).
He is jealous of Othello, show in, “I confess it is my shame to be so fond/but it is not in my virtue to amend it” (1.3:316-317). Roderigo is desperate for Desdemona and Iago takes advantage of this and makes him do thing such as kill Cassio. Roderigo does all of Iago’s dirty work and makes his plan successful. Also, Roderigo is unintelligent and realizes too late that his “money is almost spent” (2.3:364-368). Iago makes several false promises to Roderigo and he does not expose Iago because he is desperate for love.
Deception and suspicion are powerful tools that can use trust and mistrust as weapons. Many think that the most powerful weapon is trust and honesty in a relationship but unfortunately suspense and deception over power it in most cases. This can be seen in the play Othello by William Shakespeare, when Othello gets tricked by Iago into thinking his wife is cheating on him and many more cases. In the article How Iago Explains the World, by Lee Siegel it highlights the fact that Iago’s deception and lies work out for him and that he in fact sees the world the right way. Deception overrules honesty in many occasions especially in Shakespeare’s tragedies.
In William Shakespeare’s Othello, Iago is a very vindictive and manipulative person and is able to manipulate everyone in a successful ploy to ruin Othello’s life. He verbalizes that his motivation for getting revenge on Othello is because Othello gives Cassio, rather than Iago, the position Iago thinks he deserved, but it goes much deeper than that. Iago is driven by jealousy to seek revenge because Othello has more power, a better marriage, and Othello has more achievements and gets more recognition for them. After Iago becomes Othello’s lieutenant, he chooses not to end his revenge at this point, even though he could have, because of his envy of Othello. Iago is very envious of the power Othello has.
However, what Roderigo doesn’t know is that Iago is a two-faced hypocrite that only performs actions for his own benefit. Roderigo repeatedly relies on Iago for his assistance to persuade Desdemona to love him, however Iago betrays him. He pushes Roderigo off a cliff through an emotional turmoil. He lives to have “this poor trash of Venice, whom I trash / For his quick hunting, stand the putting on, / I’ll have our Michael Cassio on the hip.” (2.1.301-303) Basically, if Roderigo can perform what Iago wants, then power can be brought over Cassio and his wrath can be brought to justice. In the OED, ‘hunting’ is a term that can be defined as ‘to go eagerly in search of or seeking something.’ Roderigo is constantly in search for Desdemona’s love, asking around for approval from Brabantio, and advice from Iago.
These two villains slander Othello to the point of eradicating any pity the audience could have developed towards Othello. The Venetians also have a hidden fascination for Othello and his foreign qualities but, they mask feelings with negative slurs. The audience also affected by the portrayal of Othello, and are persuaded to feel pity for him because of his circumstances; being betrayed by his ensign and being looked down upon because of his Moorish descent. Shakespeare also uses racism as a creative apparatus to generate a metaphor between Desdemona and Othello. The exploitation of Othello’s race leads to the manipulation Roderigo, Cassio, Brabantio, the Venetians, and the audience to see Othello as inferior although, the only difference between him and the Venetians is his lineage.
To try to prove his masculinity to Katherina, he berates and abuses his servants as to make him look manly. He wants to bend Katharina to his will and is willing to be cruel to her, to prove he is able to tame his wife and be virile. This, in turn, causes Curtis to state “By this reckoning he is more shrew than she” (act four, scene one), but Curtis has known Petruchio before this event and has not seen this shrewish side to him before. This suggests Petruchio is only putting on an act and is only presenting himself like that to Katherina, and his true nature is not so shrewish. Petruchio is also described as a shrew on his wedding
Lastly, Iago’s biggest take down is Othello. He acknowledges that Othello's weakness is Desdemona and uses it to his advantage. Jealousy is what drives Othello to do crazy things towards Cassio and Desdemona. Although Othello is a great leader, he lets Iago alter his perception through words and suffers. Iago convinces Othello of Desdemona’s infidelity when he“visually” explains how he has caught Cassio and Desdemona together.