The Green-Eyed Monster In William Shakespeare’s Othello, the power of jealousy dominates the play; at first, it’s Iago who is stricken with jealousy, when Othello appoints Cassio as his new lieutenant. Iago states, “And I, of whom his eyes had seen the proof at Rhodes, at Cyprus, and on other grounds…must be beleed and calmed by debitor and creditor,”(I. i. 29-32) after finding out he will be an ancient instead of a lieutenant. These words he has spoken show jealousy on his part because he wanted the lieutenant position and it has been given to someone with less experience in the field.
Because of this green-eyed monster, envy, Iago decides to ruin Othello’s marriage and other devious things that come to his mind. In The Tragedy of Othello, William Shakespeare tells the tale of the “noble Moor” whose honor and innocence bring about his downfall. Shakespeare writes of the power of jealousy, and the art of masterful deception and trickery. The story primarily takes place in Cyprus, during a war between the people of Venice and the invading Turks. In this play Shakespeare shows the feeling of Othello’s embittered right-hand man, Iago.
Iago’s resentment erupts at his being passed over for a promotion to the position of Othello’s lieutenant. He vows to retaliate against Othello by proceeding to manipulate his friends, enemies, and family into doing his bidding without any of them realizing. Iago implants his first evil thought into Othello’s mind about Desdemona, Othello’s wife. Iago questions Othello about the relationship between Cassio and Desdemona, to mess with his mind. Othello thought nothing of a relationship between his wife and his lieutenant but Iago had devious ways of making a person curious. But for a satisfaction of my thought; no further harm. ”(III. iii. 106-107). After a statement like this Othello, now, wanted to know why Iago was asking and what he is thinking. He goes on to tell Othello that he believes Cassio is sleeping with Othello’s wife. Now he has implanted the thought and Othello starts to wonder. Iago also had manipulative ways of making himself seem like he cared, like he had Othello’s back. “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy. It is the green-eyed monster. ” (III. iii. 179-180) Iago warns Othello, although the warning does not only apply to Othello.
The chain of events that proceeded to follow is one that not only ends his own life, but also the life of his wife After accusations of infidelity, there comes an evidence phase. Before one can become truly jealous, one needs reason. Othello wanted and needed proof of infidelity being committed. He needed to see why such things would come from his wife and friend. “No, Iago, I’ll see before I doubt; when I doubt, prove. ”(III. iii. 204-205) Iago did not have proof so, deceitfully, he tried to alter Othello’s thought of Desdemona instead. She did deceive her father, marrying you; and when she seemed to shake and fear your looks, she loved them most. ”(III. iii. 221-223) This, again, made Othello wonder and now wanted to know if his wife is being unfaithful. He has faith in her for the moment, although he plans on watching her for signs. “Set on thy wife to observe. ” (III. iii. 257) If Othello was not jealous before he is now and having his first doubts of his marriage. He is now worried he’ll be hurt and rethinking their marriage.
His jealousy is allowing this thought to continue to grow in his mind where it once didn’t exist. “She’s gone. I am abused, and my relief must be to loathe her. Oh, curse of marriage. ” (III. iii. 284-285) Shakespeare has written Iago’s character to be conniving and he is able to make Othello think ill about the woman he loves. He then embeds the feeling of jealousy into a marriage that has just begun. Jealousy starts becoming a monster when you find out that the infidelity has been committed, or at least were made to believe so.
Iago through his trickery ways was able to get his hands on a gift that Othello gave to his wife. He then used it to increase Othello’s jealousy meter to about one hundred percent full. Othello had given Desdemona a handkerchief. Othello catches Cassio with the handkerchief and started becoming enraged. Now the eye of jealousy has become fully green and he has gone mad. “Ay, let her rot and perish, and be damned tonight, for she shall not live. ”(IV. i. 170-171) Othello has allowed his jealousy to and Iagos false allegations convince him to an unrealistic affair.
He wanted his lieutenant and his wife killed. He continued on with his anger and suspicions and succeeded in killing his wife. She had denied ever having the affair but it was too late. He had already been convinced by Iago. “oh, perjured woman! Thou dost stone my heart, and makes me call what I intend to do. ” (V. ii. 66-67) Othello had allowed his jealousy to grow into a monster but Iago caused it because of his own monster. In conclusion, there were many powers in this play but jealousy overtook all.
If it were not for such a feeling, people would not have as many reasons to kill. Othello fell into Iago’s web of deceitful lies and stories. He allowed Iago into his brain and he caused Othello’s jealousy to grow by making him see what was not there. When he found out everything was a lie it was already too late. He realized what a fool he has been for letting his jealousy, Iago, and the handkerchief, get to him. He decided to take his own life, the end of the tragedy. After reading this play I don’t fault Othello, would you let the green-eyed monster catch you?