Do you agree or diagree with Othello's jealousy?your opinion on othello's jealousy

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ajmchugh's profile pic

ajmchugh | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

Interesting question!  I think there are a couple of issues here, and they stem from the fact that it's very difficult for many audiences to separate Othello's jealousy from his behavior.  Do I agree with Othello's jealousy?  Not really, since I'm aware of Iago's plot and since Desdemona has never given Othello any reason to be jealous. (More importantly, perhaps, is the fact that logicstically, Desdemona could not have "the act of shame a thousand times committed.")  However, I have to acknowledge that Iago is SO skillful at seeming to be a friend to everyone, making up lies that, for the most part, seem to make sense, and playing to each character's vulnerabilities, that I don't completely blame Othello from becoming jealous. 

Does that mean that I agree with behavior?  Absolutely not.  All humans are susceptible to feelings like envy and jealousy; acting upon them, especially in the way that Othello does, becomes the real issue. 

teachertaylor's profile pic

teachertaylor | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

I agree that the issue of agreement/disagreement with Othello's jealously is not warranted; a better way to view this issue is to analyze whether or not his jealously is understandable based on the evidence offered in the play.  I think Othello's jealousy is a result of his own feelings of inadequacy and his insecurity.  Othello is surprised that Desdemona is so devoted to him because he is an outsider and she does not have the support of her father in this marriage.  Iago understands this about Othello and uses it to spark doubt and suspicion.

akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I am not sure the issue of agreeing or disagreeing with Othello's jealously is warranted.  In the end, I think that Othello's jealously was difficult to witness.  Most of it seemed to be driven by his own demons, his own senses of insecurity and doubt.  I think that this is something that is extremely relevant in all individuals.  The challenge is not necessarily to eliminate these experiences, but rather understand their proper place in our interactions.  When we look at Othello's jealously, I think that this is where the focus should be placed.  How do we ensure that our relationships with those we love embrace an ethics of freedom along with a sense of trust in these associations.  When Othello's undoing is analyzed, it ends up demonstrating how destructive suspicion and jealously are in our interactions.  This might not be something which can be affirmed or negated, but rather understood in a larger context.

linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

It's not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing with his emotion of jealousy. The question should be "Do you think Othello's jealousy is justified?" Now, you're going to be disappointed with the rest of my answer because I'm going to tell you that I can't answer this question for you. I don't know what your opinion is. Only you can answer it. Think about the things that Othello says and the way he behaves. If he loves Desdemona so much, should he have been so quick to believe Iago's lies? Shouldn't he show more trust in his wife?

I'm sure you have an opinion. And that's what your teacher wants you to express. Good luck!

kapokkid's profile pic

kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I think as an audience, it is very hard to agree with Othello's jealousy.  Even if he is a man of war and little acquainted with the soft phrase of peace and suddenly lacking a war to give him purpose, Desdemona is so devoted to him that it is very difficult to take his incredible jealous of his own subordinate.

One could also argue that part of his jealousy comes from the fact that Cassio is so much more easily accepted as a member of Venetian society because of the color of his skin, but he is a success.  He talks his way out of a sticky situation with Brabantio and really appears to have things under control.

Then he quickly devolves into a raging dog and kills his incredibly devoted wife thanks to Iago's machinations.  At least for me, I cannot stomach it let alone agree with it.

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