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Although commentators acknowledge that jealousy is a contributing element in Shakespeare's characterization of such figures as Richard III and Macbethcriticism on this theme focuses primarily on two plays: Othello and The Winter's Tale.
Uncontrolled sexual jealousy and its tragic consequences are generally viewed as the central thematic concern of the former play, in which both the drama's protagonist, the Moorish general Othello, and his manipulative subordinate Iago are thought to embody jealousy in its most obsessive and superlative dimensions.
Sexual jealousy also plays an integral role in the plot of The Winter's Tale.
In the romance, jealousy afflicts King Leontes of Sicily, whose unfounded assumption of his wife's infidelity with his childhood friend and fellow monarch Polixenes leads to near disaster and the loss of Leontes's wife and daughter for sixteen years.
Outlining some of the major concerns of contemporary critics on the subject of jealousy in Shakespeare's dramas, Katharine Eisaman Maus surveys the close connection between male sexual jealousy, as it is depicted in Renaissance literature, and issues of gender, marginality, exclusion, and spectatorship.
Derek Cohen explores similar themes in both Othello and The Winter's Tale, specifically regarding the destructive link between patriarchy and male sexual anxiety exhibited by Othello and Leontes, who both abuse their virtuous and honorable wives.
Perhaps no other Shakespearean drama is so dominated by the theme of jealousy as the tragedy of Othello. While a number of other issues are explored in the drama, few commentators deny its detailed, subtle, and varied preoccupation with this motif.
Kenneth Muir concentrates on the figures of Othello and Iago, considering their differing connections to the theme of jealousy. The relationship between Othello and Iago is the topic of Ruth M. Levitsky's essayin which she contrasts Iago's suspicious, Machiavellian, and ultimately jealous personality with Othello's credulity and Desdemona's virtue.
Actor David Suchet, who played the role of Iago for the Royal Shakespeare Company insuggests in his essay that this character's somewhat obscure motivation to do evil originates in his envious reactions to the other principal figures of the play.
Feminist theory and psychoanalysis inform Edward A. Snow's study of Othello's sexual anxiety and jealousy. Snow contends that a male-dominated social order conditions Othello's uncontrolled emotions of guilt and desire, feelings that become manifest in his violent and jealous rage toward his wife.
Shurgot articulates a similar view by focusing on the striking imagery of Othello's possessive, objectifying, and grotesque verbal references to Desdemona.
Millicent Bell see Further Reading offers an alternative interpretation of jealousy in Othello. Acknowledging that sexual jealousy is the principal subject of the drama, Bell nevertheless contends that it is actually a device Shakespeare employed to emphasize an epistemological theme associated with Othello's paradoxical reliance on and distrust of appearances.
Critical interest in the figure of King Leontes of The Winter's Tale has principally focused on his sudden, seemingly unjustified fit of sexual jealousy. Suspecting his wife Hermione of marital infidelity with his friend Polixenes, Leontes assumes he has been cuckolded and subsequently denies the legitimacy of his daughter based on little or no readily observable evidence.
Representing a minority opinion, Norman Nathan maintains that Leontes's swift attack of jealousy may have been provoked by his perception of sexual innuendo in the banter between Hermione and Polixenes. Most contemporary commentators, however, have generally categorized Leontes's jealousy as a kind of temporary madness.
Schwartz contends that Shakespeare's text offers no significant external cause for jealousy, but that a psychoanalytic understanding of Leontes's paranoid and delusional behavior over the course of The Winter's Tale suggests an overall dramatic consistency.
Thorne see Further Reading finds additional support for this point of view in the peculiar, ungrammatical stylistic syntax of the Sicilian king's speeches in the first act of the drama.
Abrams also favors an explanation that ties Leontes's jealousy to his abandonment of reason, which is later recovered in his reconciliation with Hermione and his daughter Perdita at the end of the play. Derek Cohen essay date September Shakespearean Criticism.The Role of Jealousy in Shakespeare's Othello Essay Words | 6 Pages.
The Role of Jealousy in Shakespeare's Othello In the play, Othello, written by William Shakespeare, there is the classic good against evil conflict. Jealousy is what drives othello is comparatively analysis of othello c. A full summary and iago, and research papers, relationships, and it is comparatively analysis of the character's origin is a complete e-text, and research papers.
Othello and Uncontrolled Jealousy Dominating the protagonist in William Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello is the passion of sexual jealousy. Dominating the antagonist is another type of jealousy toward Cassio, and hatred toward the general.
Uncontrolled sexual jealousy and its tragic consequences are generally viewed as the central thematic concern of the former play, in which both the drama's protagonist, the Moorish general Othello. Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello focuses on the downfall of military General Othello whose happiness at his marriage to Desdemona is quickly consumed by jealousy.
The love of Othello and Desdemona are tragically torn apart by the intrigue of Iago who is also acting out of jealousy. 'Othello' is one of Shakespeare's classic tragedies, and reading it with your students opens opportunities to discuss a variety of themes. This lesson provides essay topics related to jealousy in.