Explore How Shakespeare Examines the Themes If Jealousy and Deception in Othello the Play and Othello the Character.

1789 words 8 pages
Explore how Shakespeare examines the themes if jealousy and deception in Othello the play and Othello the character. Sana Thomas

Jealousy and Deception are both continuous themes running through out Shakespeare’s Othello. Indeed, it is jealousy that provides the fuel for the plot and deception that leads to the classic downfall of the 'hero' as is common in Shakespeare tragedies. However, it is a theme of hate that the play opens. It is a hate of inveterate anger. It is a hate that is bound up with envy hanging on a strained thread waiting to snap. In The Tragedy of Othello, William Shakespeare tells the tale of the “noble Moor” whose honour and innocence bring about his downfall. Shakespeare writes of the power of jealousy,
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He will "in Cassio's lodging lose this napkin,/ and let him find it (3.3.321-322)." Though the handkerchief is a mere "trifle," a thing "light as air," it will be "to the jealous confirmations strong/ As proofs of holy writ (3.3.323-324)."

Jealousy in Othello appears in many forms. Shakespeare personifies jealousy as “a monster” “begot on itself, born on itself (3.4.115)”. And it is a “ green-eyed monster” that feeds on destruction and devastation. There is a strong sense of devouring and being devoured in this imagery used, which fits Iago’s description of

Othello being “eaten up with passion”. These lines suggest the exact quality of Othello’s monumental jealousy. Once he becomes convinced that his wife is unfaithful, his jealousy does indeed feed on itself leading him to behave monstrously.

The handkerchief, which was used for deceit, also, I feel, symbolizes jealousy. Bianca, a high class courtesan, who beds with Cassio, gets caught up in the jealousy revolving around the napkin. Her jealousy mirrors Othello’s weakly: “This is some token from a newer friend/To the felt absence now I feel a cause (3.4.175)”. The degree of jealousy here is different,