Jealousy

Jealousy is an emotion feeds over a possible ground of depravity, lack of desired ownership or over a fear of loss. It seeks the potential acts in anger, revenge to cure itself. Shakespeare’s Othello, as a play and the character himself, is tragic because of the working of jealousy at the effective end.

In the play, every character is a part of either nurturing jealousy or falling victim to it by the former. It is jealousy alone that proceeds the acts and demands the destruction, making the play a Tragedy.

Iago’s confidence in his ravaging plot comes from his knowledge that Jealousy emerges from within. It “doth mock the meet it feeds on”.

Othello’s own latent insecurity makes him fall prey to Jealousy. From the beginning of the play, Othello, a moor, is considered an ill-suited match for the Venetian, fair and beautiful Desdemona by other characters.

Shakespeare refutes the idea of mismatch on the surface level with the veracity of the pure love that Desdemona has for Othello. But it is only Othello’s own belief in the deficiency of  ____ that makes him believe the reasonable possibility of his wife’s infidelity.

Iago himself acts the entire malignant plan because of his jealousy. it is the stubborn rejection of his disability that makes him jealous of Cassio.

He only extends his own self, makes Othello fall into his situation, for he knows how damaging, irrationally harmful can jealousy be.

The play vividly shows how jealousy has no concrete cause but often is built on an assumption. Characters like Rodrigo and Bianca are engaged in the same fruitless attempts of overlooking reality and Othello works under the fear of losing what he already has.

Once it becomes evident to him, it transforms to take the shape of revenge and violence for its elimination. He is both the culprit and the victim.

It is not Othello’s social position that is attacked by Iago but he uses Desdemona as an instrument to instigate falsity, something that he could make him believe he didn’t deserve but got.

The tragedy in the play, in actuality, is caused with “trifles light as air” that is required for jealousy to emerge. A mere handkerchief, that authenticates their love, is easily misused by Iago to prove Desdemona infidel. The “ocular proof” for Othello is not his wife’s words but a cloth material. 

With every character, it is their ignorance, in some or the other form, that makes them slave to jealousy, damaging their power of reasoning and discretion. They all, however, find an outlet that matches their capacity of evilness.

Rodrigo’s absurdity lies in his imagined, vain idea of love. He fails to take command of his own actions, making Iago take charge of them.

Othello’s flaw lies in his gullibility, he “loved not wisely but too well”, too much to not let go of the thoughtful betrayal, to kill her, ruining the innocent face he fell in love with.