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Jealousy: The Death of Us All

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by Caroline Hanan

In Shakespeare’s tragedy, Othello, jealousy is a common theme that ultimately leads to the death of multiple people. Iago is jealous of Cassio, Othello is jealous of Desdemona, and Bianca is jealous of Cassio. In each case, their jealousy will ultimately lead to their downfall. Bianca’s jealousy of Cassio will ultimately lead to Othello’s jealousy of Desdemona, which leads to the deaths of five characters.

In the first scene that we see Bianca, we immediately see how she annoys the other characters. Cassio first greets her by saying, “What make you from home?” (III.iv.) Cassio is supposed to be her lover; however, he greets her as if he doesn’t want to see her because he views her as nuisance. Bianca is convinced that Cassio has been cheating on her because he hasn’t been home in a week and becomes jealous. Iago also finds Bianca annoying; however, he uses her jealousy to convince Othello of Desdemona’s infidelity. After being dismissed by Cassio, Bianca states, “But that you do not love me.” (She is convinced that Cassio doesn’t love her and has been spending time with another woman. As a result of her jealousy, Bianca will do anything to earn Cassio’s love, so when he asks her to make a copy of a handkerchief she cannot say no. This action will ultimately lead to Desdemona’s death, because the handkerchief will be the physical evidence Iago needed to put Othello over the edge, convincing him he must kill Desdemona.

Throughout this play, we see jealousy leading to the downfall of many characters. In Othello, we see jealousy ultimately lead to the deaths of Desdemona, Emilia, Othello, Roderigo, and Brabantio. Jealousy can changes people for the worst and cause them to do something they normally wouldn’t do.


1 Comment

  1. bhmartire says:

    Good job! I agree that jealousy is the main factor in all of the those deaths.


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