Iago’s jealousy

Alex Rhyne

English 131.2


Professor Lucas

In Othello, Iago is the downfall of Othello and Desdemona but from a different point of view Cassio is a very devoted to Othello himself. Cassio is young and inexperienced but Othello gave him this job for the fact he studied war but never has been in one. Cassios loyalty to Othello is greater than what Iago implants on Othello. Iago is jealous of Cassio and wants him to be decommissioned. Iago’s resentment to cassio is why this becomes a tragedy.

As the story of “Othello the more of venice” begins, Iago wants to be the lieutenant and second in command but when Cassio is appointed to lieutenant he is very upset but Iago can not do anything about it “One Michael Cassio, a Florentine[…]He, in good time, must his lieutenant be” (1.1.21-34). Jealousy is very evident as he is mad that Cassio has never been on the field of battle so how will he know how to battle. Iago being Iago he came up with the plan to bring Cassio down  by implanting mistrust in Othello and as he does this, he starts small and send hints to othello through his talks with him. Iago’s jealousy makes him have to be sneaky to pull off this because he wants to make himself seem innocent and that it is not all made up. Iago being a man of jealous ways brought a light into the world that burned in his eyes and Othellos. “Cassio’s a proper man. Let me see now:[…] Must bring this monstrous birth to the world’s light” (1.3.435-447)

Iago talks about his plot to bring down Othello because he thinks Othello is sleeping with his wife and becomes enraged , he goes to plant a seed of jealousy in othello to and tells it to the readers in his own monologue. His jealousy spreads like a wildfire through the others that are around him and it all started with Iago’s jealousy of Cassio being put ahead of him  in the army. “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock The meat it feeds on” (3.3.195-97) he says this but he also knows that he is implanting this jealousy too, that Othello may not seem jealous but ones it hits it will strike. Iago is very manipulative and he makes sure he gets his way through this

Iago’s jealousy was a focal point in the play. Iago spread his jealousy through Othello planting a seed of mistrust between Othello and Cassio and Desdemona. That the mere mention of Desdemona’s infidelity makes him jealous and mad  “Trifles light as air Are to the jealous confirmations strong As proofs of holy writ. This may do something” (3.3.370-372). Iago’s jealousy against Cassio lead to the tragedy of Desdemona and himself, and Othello doesn’t find out till the end when he kills Iago that the jealousy of Iago spread throughout himself. Iago having been jealous has an effect on Othello and cassio leading to the tragedies of Othello.

Shakespeare, William. Othello. Ed. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine. Folger Shakespeare
Library Edition, Simon and Schuster, 2009.

Othello. By William Shakespeare. Dir. Joshua Yoder. Perf. Tylan James and Zach Koch. LR
Playmakers, Lenoir-Rhyne U., Hickory, NC. 9 Nov. 2016.


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