Jealousy is the green-eyed monster: Meaning Then
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What was Big Willy Shakes going for?
We know what you're thinking: where is the evil, scheming part? Isn't Iago supposed to be crueler? Ah, Shmoopers, you're onto something there. The genius of Iago's plan is that no one suspects it. Everyone goes around town praising how honest and trustworthy he is, when in fact, he's the most deceitful one of the bunch. (That's what we call irony.)
So when he says "O beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meet it feeds on," what he's actually saying is "I hope you become jealous and kill your wife, because that would, ironically, fulfill all my plans. Ha!" Okay, so we added the "Ha!".
In fact, a lot of the power behind this quote lies in the fact that Iago is being incredibly ironic here. We know he's malicious and nasty. We've heard of his plan to take Othello down. And we even know how he's going to do it. But Othello doesn't know any of that. In fact, he thinks Iago is just about the best guy he's ever met.
We in the audience know not to trust him. We see how Iago uses dishonesty to convince Othello that his wife is unfaithful, all while pretending to be looking out for the best interests of his so-called friend.
You might think this quote has some truth to it. And you'd be right. Jealousy does make people turn into monsters. But that's not quite the whole point of it. In reality, Shakespeare is warning us not to trust anything Iago says. Ever.
A few years earlier in The Merchant of Venice, Portia says "green-eyed jealousy" (3.2.110). Looks like Shakespeare couldn't get the idea of green and jealousy out of his head. Now that he coined this phrase in Othello, we can't get it out of our heads either.
Essay on Iago the "Green - Eyed Monster"
968 WordsMar 26th, 20124 Pages
In the Shakespearean play Othello, the “Green – Eyed Monster”, otherwise known as jealousy, is nothing but a killer. It is a creature that drove Iago to his monstrous revenge plot. During the duration of the play, jealousy was one of the main motives Iago had as a foundation in his plot to destroy Othello. As the lowest ranking officer, Othello’s ancient, Iago wanted to be promoted to the lieutenant position. In the opening scene of Act I, Iago described his jealousy towards Michael Cassio to Roderigo. He described how Cassio had, “never set squadron in the field” and that his knowledge of battle is only known through books (I.I.23). Unlike Michael Cassio, Iago had been in the army for years and felt betrayed by none other than the…show more content…
Othello, in the beginning of the play, was a strong and powerful man that was in love with the daughter of Brabantio, Desdemona. However, according to Nordlund, the love was “flawed.” Although she loved him for his victories and adventures in battle, critics such as Noll and Godfrey felt he loved her because he was loved by someone. Nevertheless, this idea did not prevent them from marriage; the start of the downfall. The marriage between Othello and Desdemona caused pandemonium within the community, especially within Brabantio and Roderigo. Brabantio initially felt that the marriage was the effect of Othello’s witchcraft, as said in Act 1 Scene 3, but once Desdemona had informed him otherwise, that did not prevent his feeling of her betrayal. Brabantio was jealous that he no longer had control over his daughter and he warned Othello to watch over her for she can betray him as well; “She has deceived her father, and may thee” (I.III.334).
Roderigo on the other hand, was jealous of Othello for being married to Desdemona because he was in love with he. During the play, Roderigo was the kind of man that did anything it took to gain the love of Desdemona, and Iago clearly used that to his advantage. Iago reassured that Roderigo would gain Desdemona’s love by saying, “also she will realize the wrong of her ways,” giving hope to the envious Roderigo