Miss Essay

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Compare how the theme of jealousy is presented in Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’ and Robert Browning’s ‘The Laboratory’ and ‘My Last Duchess’ Noble, famed, and highly placed in the regard of his rulers, Othello had everything; Shakespeare’s unmatched example of the foregoing legacy. His weakness: a pervading insecurity and self-loathing, which provides fertile ground for ‘his Moorship’s ancient’ to capitalize. Othello’s fatal flaw: an unreasonable, irrational jealousy that drives him to kill what he loves best. Jealousy shapes the characters’ lives in Othello as early as the first Act, the catalyst for the plays sequential plot. Roderigo is envious of the general because he wishes to be with Desdemona. He exclaims ‘What a full fortune does the thicklips owe / if he can carry’t thus!’ this derogatory comment of ‘thicklips’ resembles Roderigo’s bitterness and anger – his jealousy. Jealousy is portrayed towards the end of the play also, when Othello is furious with resentment because he believes Cassio and Desdemona have been engaging in an affair. Some characters’ jealousy is fashioned by other individuals. Iago is involved in much of this, creating lies and implementing misleading situations. He is consumed with jealousy of Cassio and masked hatred of Othello because he was not chosen as lieutenant; ‘one Michael Cassio’ was instead. Iago claims he’s far more qualified than Cassio, who lacks Iago’s experience on the battlefield. But is this the real reason Iago sets out to destroy Othello? Or, is this merely an excuse to go after him? Similarly, the Duke in Robert Browning’s ‘My Last Duchess’ is virtually the green-eyed monster incarnate – an allegorical figure for possessiveness and control. The Duke has grown jealous of the courtesy his wife displays to other people. He is envious of every smile and every blush that she bestows on someone else, intentionally or

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