Jealousy in Shakespeare

Essay by foosballfuzzHigh School, 11th grade April 2006

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Jealousy is fueled by people's fears and insecurities and as such, is an extremely powerful emotion that if unchecked and let loose can destroy more than one life in the process. Shakespeare uses this emotion to provoke his characters into action in his plays. It is how the characters deal and come out of their turmoil that determines their fate, tragic or not.

Everyone at one time or another has dealt with the green-eyed monster. That monster is jealousy. The trivial emotion that has driven apart countless friends and couples in real life has also destroyed relationships on paper too. Hundreds of years ago Shakespeare wrote plays about men blinded by jealousy who nearly destroyed their lives and families. A casual reader or audience may not leave one of Shakespeare's jealousy-themed plays smarter, but those who see past the words and what is behind the emotions portrayed, can come out of it better prepared for tough decisions ahead in life.

Learning from the character's mistakes as well as their actions can help one come to terms with his or her self much easier. Again, one has to see beyond the words and delve into the feelings and actions of the characters to see how Shakespeare uses jealousy not only as a tool of literature, but also as a doorway into the character's subconscious. From this window to their soul, one learns that not only can appearances be deceiving and shallow, but theoretically pretty wallpaper covering the old peeling paint behind.

In plain terms, jealousy is what one feels when something or someone precious to them is threatened to be taken away or lost. Jealousy can also come from more shallow feelings like that of losing a position or prize to someone else. While one may easily point...