Jealousy in Othello
2. “Tis in ourselves that we are thus or therefore”. Iago conveys that guy has the ability to manage his emotions. Is this what Shakespeare recommends in his play Othello? (page 63) In his classic play, Othello, Shakespeare explores the result that human emotions have on actions and external looks. From the outset of the play, we see the general of the Venetian army, Othello, as a “brave”, “worthy”, significant and decent man. However, once his mind is “poisoned” by the “the green-eyed beast” of jealousy, the emotion overwhelms Othello as he changes into a “blacker devil” and resultantly murders his partner.
Even the virtuous Desdemona is ruled by her emotions. When facing death, she continues to secure and remain devoted to her homicidal spouse, due to the endless love she feels towards him. Likewise, Roderigo is so driven by his love for Desdemona, that he continues to hand over money to Iago in a quote to “woo” her, and participates in Iago’s “monstrous” strategy by attempting to murder Cassio. When Roderigo hears of Othello’s elopement to Desdemona, he reveals to Iago his intent of suicide. With an appealing analysis on the human psyche, Iago replies: “Tis in ourselves that we are hence, or hence. Our odies are our gardens, to the which our wills are our garden enthusiasts”. Iago suggests that humans have the ability to subdue their feelings, and for that reason can control the way they act. This declaration shows to be rather paradoxical and oblivious, as Iago himself is ruled and motivated by utter hatred, lust and jealousy. In this way, Shakespeare suggests that guy does not have the ability to control his emotions. Othello’s change from a “worthy” general to a crazed killer clearly shows the influence that human feelings have on actions. Othello is jealous in the belief that his other half, Desdemona, is having an affair with his x-lieutenant, Cassio. This shows that Othello’s jealousy is an outcome of the strong love he feels for his other half. Once the villainous Iago toxins the mind of Othello with “the green eyed beast” of jealousy, we see the result that it has on his actions and outside looks. Formerly extremely significant, Othello ends up being significantly vulgar in his speech, showed when he dismisses Emilia as a “simple bawd”. Othello’s as soon as pure love for Desdemona develops into that of animalistic sexual desire as he exclaims that he will “slice her into messes” in the name of love. The full extent of the impact that ealousy has on Othello’s actions is shown when he murders his spouse. Othello’s raging feelings distorts his view of truth to such an extent that he thinks that he is administering justice by killing Desdemona, recommended when he says “a murder, which I believed a sacrifice”. This idea also displays that Othello is a very happy male, and this pride, along with jealousy, drives him to murder his other half. Othello shows that he does not have control over his actions; rather they are based upon his raging feelings of love, pride and especially jealousy. Although Desdemona shows much better control over her feelings than her usband, Othello, she does not show complete ascendancy over them. Desdemona might seem to consist of and subdue her feelings, however in reality, she is ruled by her intense love for Othello. This love affects her actions, and sees her stay completely faithful and obedient to her husband. This is recommended when minutes before her death, when asked “who hath done this deed”, she responds: “No one– I myself– farewell”. In these Elizabethan times, purgatory was a typical belief. By damning herself by passing away upon a lie, it reveals that Desdemona is even going to face purgatory to conserve and protect her partner.
She remains devoted to Othello in spite of the truth that he has actually taken her life. This compassionate act in the face of death shows that Desdemona’s actions are very much ruled by her love for Othello. Similarly, Roderigo is also ruled by the emotion of love. Nevertheless, his love is more of an obsessive infatuation with Desdemona. The love he feels for Desdemona displays complete control over his actions. Roderigo continues to “put money in [Iago’s] purse” in a desperate attempt to woo her. Even when Roderigo’s “cash is nearly spent”, and he understands that Iago’s “words and efficiencies are no kin together”, he persists in filling Iago’s purse in the ere hope that he might win Desdemona’s love. Additionally, Roderigo’s infatuation with Desdemona causes him to take part in Iago’s “monstrous” strategy. Iago persuades Roderigo that the only way for him to win Desdemona is to murder Cassio. Roderigo agrees and tries to take Cassio’s life, although he has “no excellent commitment to the deed”. He just takes part in Iago’s devious strategy because of his intense love for Desdemona, and his hope that she might feel the same love towards him. Roderigo’s actions of continuously “putting cash in [Iago’s] purse” and attempting to murder Cassio, recommends hat his actions are ruled by his emotion of love. Regardless of Iago’s claims that man can control their emotions and control their actions, Iago too is clearly ruled by emotions of desire, jealousy and hatred. Although his motives for “bring [ing] this monstrous birth to the worlds light” are not fully understood, it is rather clear he remains in part motivated by his feelings. Iago seems to be envious over the visit of Cassio as Othello’s lieutenant and when he talks to Roderigo in the opening scene, he seems figured out to mess up Cassio. Yet, this jealousy over the lieutenancy can not be his inspiration in ringing about Cassio’s demise, because as soon as Othello demotes Cassio, Iago continues in devious strategies and efforts to murder him. Later, Iago gives another reason for his desired damage of Cassio: “He hath an everyday charm in his life/ That makes me awful”. Iago suggests that his jealousy of Cassio’s good looks and beauty motivates his actions in destroying him. Moreover, Iago shows a deep hatred stemming form jealousy of the Moor. Iago is particularly envious and resentful over Othello’s love with Desdemona. He covets the couple and even declares “Now, I do enjoy [Desdemona] too”.
Nevertheless, it is clear that this “love” remains in fact sensations of deep lust towards Desdemona. He also displays jealousy and hatred over the “constant, loving, noble nature” of the Moor, plainly showed when he often repeats “I dislike the Moor”. He likewise mentions that Othello has “‘twixt my sheets/ He’s done my office”. However, Iago later admits that he understands “not if’t be true”. Rather, it is a self-justification for hating Othello for no existent logical or moral reason. In spite of Iago’s claim that males are “therefore or hence”, his own actions of “bringing this monstrous birth to the worlds light” are based upon his feelings of desire, hatred and jealousy.