This essay is about William Shakespeare's Othello. It focuses on Iago's words to Othello, "O, beware, my lord, of Jealousy. It is the green-eyed monster." in act 3, scene 3 and just how important this warning was not only for Othello, but also for Roderigo and for Iago.
Before considering the importance of Iago's words, it is important to define what jealousy means. According to The New Lexicon Webster's Encylopedic Dictionary of the English Language, "jealousy is a state of fear, suspicion, revenge or envy caused by a real or imagined threat or challenge to one's possessive instincts. It may be provoked by rivalry, in sexual love, by competition or by desires for the qualities or possessions of another."
Roderigo is foolish and even at times unusually feeble-minded. This explained partially by Roderigo's jealousy: he is infatuated with Desdemona and has been for some time. He is willing to do anything to win her love.
He is jealous that Desdemona loves Othello and not him. In accordance with the definition of jealousy, Roderigo desires the possessions of another. It is this jealousy which moves him to do many evil things in the play. He pays Iago large amounts of money to conjure up a scheme to acquire Desdemona. He gives in to Iago at the beginning of the play. In effect he has become the villian's disciple. By doing this, he himself has adopted the green-eyed monster image. In act two, he is prompted by Iago to cause a commotion and begin a fight with Cassio. Later in act four, scene two, Roderigo is convinced by Iago to kill Cassio. In act five, scene one, Roderigo attempts to kill Cassio but only manages to wound him. At the same time Cassio wounds Roderigo. Iago (who...