Othello, By William Shakespeare Essay

1159 Words Jan 8th, 2016 5 Pages
Tragedies, in any form, are often written as lessons to readers about how not to live their lives. William Shakespeare’s famed tragedy, Othello, is no different. It is the story of Iago, a man who plots his revenge against the army general, Othello, attempting to convince Othello that his wife, Desdemona, is having an affair with Michael Cassio, the man he promoted to his lieutenant instead of Iago. Iago’s deception of Othello culminates in the deaths of four major characters, including Desdemona, who is killed by Othello, and Othello himself, who dies suicidally after he learns of Iago’s deception. Cassio is wounded severely in the leg, and Iago is dragged away to be tortured for the destruction he caused. Jealousy serves as the motivation for Iago and Othello’s actions, and, by displaying the horrific results of their jealousy, Shakespeare shows us just how destructive jealousy can be.
Othello begins as the jealousy takes root in Iago, and he begins to thirst for revenge on Cassio and Othello. Iago never truly relates his true motivations for his horrendous actions, but he does give a few possibilities. One possibility is that he is jealous of Cassio because Othello promoted Cassio instead of him. “Mere prattle without practice/Is all his soldiership (I.i.27-28), Iago describes Cassio to Roderigo, emphasizing that Othello promoted Cassio even though he “had seen the proof [of Iago’s skill]/At Rhodes, at Cyprus” (I.i.29-30). Already, Iago’s jealousy has become dangerous. As…

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