Jealousy Examined in Shakespeare's Othello

The most predominant theme in William Shakespeare's play, Othello, is the danger of jealousy.Othello is a good man brought to his knees by his jealous and suspicious heart.Shakespeare teaches us the frailty of the human psyche and the delicacy of the human heart in this tale of trust and utter betrayal.Othello has a solid marriage and a devoted wife but these things become secondary to his jealousy.
To enhance the power of jealousy, Shakespeare utilizes Iago to the utmost.Othello puts love and trust second to jealousy byfirst believing Iago over his wife.In fact, Iago convinces Othello that he is concerned about Othello and his well-being.He tells Roderigo that Othello is a man of a"constant, loving, noble nature,/And, I dare think, he'll prove to Desdemona/A most dear husband" (II.i.280-3).Here, Shakespeare is illustrating how impeccable of men can be broken with the simple hint of jealousy.In short, he is illustrating the frailty of man in even the best of circumstances.Othello is a man driven by his emotions and it is his emotions that get the most of him.He allows his jealousy to overrule his reason and, as a result, he loses everything that is important to him. Othello is a pitiful character because he allows his emotion to rule over his intellect.
Othello is pitiful and reckless but he is also human.While we may hate Othello for his weakness, it is the very same weakness with which we can identify and, as a result, relate to on a human and intimate level.Othello is despicable because he is human.He acts irrationally because his emotions are triggered and he behaves from a completely base instinct.He is jealous and this makes him despicable and all too human.


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