Shakespeare’s Othello

Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603. Deception and jealousy are two of the major themes represented in Othello. The theme of jealousy is dominant throughout the entire novel as it motivates the characters actions. Jealousy is portrayed through the main characters Iago and Othello, it corrupts their lives because it causes Iago to show his true self, which also initiates a conversion of Othello into an insecure person which leads to the destruction of him and people around him, especially Desdemona. Iago, “most honest” (I, iii, 7) in the eyes of his companions, is actually the opposite. His feeling of jealousy uncovers his true self.

Iago tells Roderigo that “he is not what he is” (1, i, 69) which shows he is taken over by jealousy because Othello chose Michael Cassio, over himself for the position of lieutenancy. Jealousy separates Iago from rationality. This loss of rational causes Iago to “make a life of jealousy” (III, iii, 204) and plots to destroy Othello. Although Iago has a reputation of being “full of love and honesty” (III, iii, 138), he is responsible for destroying many lives and is considered “perhaps one of the most villainous characters in all literature”. Iago alludes to Othello that his wife, Desdemona, has been unfaithful with Cassio. Iago initially intends to hurt Othello and make him regret appointing Cassio as his lieutenant; however, he ends up hurting others in the process. Iago’s jealousy causes his true character, one of viciousness to become noticeable. This, in turn, creates a new Othello to emerge, one utterly possessed, calling out for blood and vengeance through his raging jealous behaviour. Iago, the master manipulator, uses Othello's powerful insecurity and jealousy as a means to instantly change Othello's perception of Desdemona.

One can tell that Iago’s jealousy has, in fact, corrupted Othello. Othello, previously had...