When jealous is implanted in an individual’s heart, it grows like a seed. It breads evil, creates bad emotions, feeling of revenge and betrayal, and more often than not, it results in the destruction of that person having it, or others. In the Play, “Othello” by William Shakespeare, the theme of jealousy is clearly demonstrated through the two main characters, Othello and Lago.
Throughout the play, jealous is brewed through lies and finally lead to tragedy. Othello’s jealous is implanted by Lago. Out of jealousy, the matrimony of Othello and Desdemona is destroyed by Lago. Out of Jealous, Lago plans how to manipulate his friend Othello by making him believe that his lover, Desdemona cheats on him by being unfaithful. Lago is not happy with his friend’s relationship with Desdemona, who is a beautiful lady. Lago is so skillful at deceit and trickery such that he triggers Othello’s weakest emotion, that of jealousy. To accomplish this mission, Lago crafts a story of betrayal to Othello by his lover, Desdemona. He does it so skillfully to arouse his jealousy for being cheated by Desdemona, and more so by her being unfaithful with Cassio, his right-hand man. Lago provides several proofs to enrage Othello. Desdemona and Cassio are just normal friends. Lago takes this opportunity to make Othello believe that there is a love affair between the two.
Lago’s words burn into Othello’s heart and his jealous for love mounts up becoming more and more suspicious. When he is deeply upset about the situation, Lago comes in and presents more “proofs”. Lago tells Othello that on one of the nights while sleeping with Cassio side by side, he heard him of talking in his sleep of his love for Desdemona, and claiming that he made a mistake of marrying, Moor. Lago goes further in his deceitful mission by planting a handkerchief in Cassio’s room, which belonged to Desdemona, and of which was given to her by Othello as a gift. Lago then tells Othello that he saw such a handkerchief with Cassio. This heightens Othello’s jealousy to such high levels that his thoughts start to grow more dangerous. The last “bullet” that Lago uses to translate Othello’s mind into a burning pit of hell, is to tell him that Cassio told him that he had sex with Desdemona. At this point, Othello becomes so consumed with jealousy, leading him to kill Desdemona.
Lago is not only jealous of Othello’s and Desdemona’s matrimony, but he is also jealous of Cassio’s rank, which he is shown to have been craving for throughout the play. To remove him from the rank, and possibly occupy it, is the reason behind dragging him to those untruthful stories. This case represents a real-world situation where some people, out of jealous can do anything, including killing to realize their dreams. For instance, people have murdered their political competitors in order to retain or take their positions. There are cases where people have killed their business competitors in order to do away with competition so that they can be rich.
All the “proofs” provided by Lago are nothing else but lies. They have no credibility, but how Lago put them to appear, they seem truthful in every sense, especially when received from a close friend. This play teaches that it is important to authenticate the information that we receive, even from our closest friends and relations. Some people are just jealous of one’s achievements in life and can do everything to bring them down. Note that these people are friends, close relations, so they will not use a weapon. Instead, they will use tricks to hurt your weakest points. They know you well since you have been close, possibly for years.
They understand where your weakest points are, so when they want to destroy you, they will straight attack that point, and if you are not careful, you fall victim of their evil mind. Lago understood his friend, Othello. He knew that he loved his lover, Desdemona very much. He knew that attacking his trust for Desdemona, with associating her with infidelity, will arouse anger on him. Othello, is, however, not quick to realize the trick, ending up murdering Desdemona, regret coming later. The play also wants to educate the reader that if one allows himself or herself to be impacted with jealousy by others, he or she ends up harming himself or herself over and above harming others. In the play, we find that when Othello realizes that he killed Desdemona, who was innocent, he chooses to kill himself too.
What he lost is just too much for him to bear. Moreover, it is as if Shakespeare wanted to communicate that jealous is the source of all other evils – betrayal, manipulation, lies, revenge, hate and all others. Further, Shakespeare demonstrates that jealous grows like a seed. Just as a seed is planted, germinates and grows into a big plant and bears fruits, so does jealousy. A seed of jealous was planted in Othello. With time, the seed was fed with “nutrients”, that is more lies and trickeries; it grew, and finally bore fruits, that is causing murder.
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