"Othello": The Difference between Professional and Sexual Jealousy as They Affect the Play

Essay by tonyshawkHigh School, 11th gradeA, March 2006

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Many of the characters in "Othello" were jealous of other people's possessions. There are only two types of jealousy in the play, sexual and professional. Roderigo, Othello, and Bianca were sexually jealous. Iago was both professionally and sexually jealous. Jealousy was a major idea of Othello since it lurked within so many of the characters and greatly affected the plot.

Roderigo was sexually jealous of Othello because he wanted Desdemona. His jealousy was revealed the earliest in the play. The play was opened by Roderigo's lines of "(Tush,) never tell me! I take it much unkindly / That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse / As if the strings were thine, shouldst know of this." (1.1.1-3). In the movie this part was presented in a much more interpretable way than the script, in which Roderigo was peeking through a crack on the window to see Desdemona and Othello's betrothal, and he upbraided Iago for not telling him that Desdemona is in love with Othello because he hired Iago to inform him of things about Desdemona.

Later in the scene Roderigo and Iago decided to go tell Desdemona's father about her engagement with Othello. After yelled out under Brabantio's balcony, Brabantio responded to Roderigo "The worser welcome. / I have charged thee not to haunt about my doors." (1.1.106-107) and "My daughter is not for thee" (1.1.109). Brabantio's response proved that Roderigo use to be a suitor of Desdemona, and Brabantio had already rejected his proposal. Roderigo was used by Iago for many times in the play. After Othello made his engagement with Desdemona known to the Duke, Roderigo lost his hope on owning Desdemona. Iago reassured him and encouraged him to sell all of his land in exchange of money to follow...