Shakespeare’s Othello is a popular literary work throughout which the theme of jealousy is evident.
This tragedy focuses on the downfall of Othello and other significant characters as a result of jealousy. The emotion jealousy, did not just cause the deaths of three of Othello’s main characters, but it also resulted in the unfortunate murders of innocent ones. The theme of jealousy is prominent throughout the play as it motivates the actions of major characters namely Iago, Othello and Roderigo. Iago’s wicked actions are manifested as a result of his jealous nature. Iago’s first moment of jealousy is apparent when he talks about Micheal Cassio. In Act 1, Scene 1, Iago says. “But he, sir, had th’ election, and I, of whom his eyes had seen the proof..
and on other ground ..Christian and heathen, must be belee’d and calmed by debitor and creditor.” In this quote, it’s evident that Iago is jealous that Othello has chosen Micheal Cassio over him, even though Othello saw his fighting skills first in Cyprus and Rhodes. Iago is insecure about his career as he believes it has been cut short by some bookkeeper or in other words Micheal Cassio. Iago continues to express his feelings by saying, “This counter-caster..must his lieutenant be and I, bless the mark, his Moorship’s ancient.
” This quote truly brings to light Iago’s jealousy, as he envies Cassio of becoming the Moor’s lieutenant while he himself is the Moor’s flag bearer. Iago believes that he deserved that job, and therefore he starts making plans to take over Michael Cassio. This serves as an example of professional jealousy in the play. In Act 1, Scene 3, Iago says, “I hate the Moor, and it is thought abroad, that ‘twixt my sheets’ has done my office. I know not if ‘t be true, but I, for mere suspicion in that kind, will do as if for surety.
” Earlier, Iago has stated that he hates Othello as he chose Micheal Cassio to be his lieutenant and not him, but in this quote Iago states that he hates the Moor as he has heard a rumour that he has been sleeping with his wife Emilia. Iago says he is unsure if the rumour is actually true or not, but he has decided to destroy Othello’s life either way. Iago’s envy of being excluded from the higher levels of military and political influences, and well as his jealousy towards Othello’s imagined affair with his wife serve as an important motivating factor for his actions.