The Jealousy Virus In Shakespeare's Othello

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Jealousy is like a virus with no cure; it enters the body undetected and roots itself in the temporal lobe of the brain, rewiring its host’s memories and forming connections to things that do not exist. From the temporal lobe, it spreads to the frontal lobe and cerebral cortex, corrupting the host’s ability to make judgements, make inferences, and control emotions, personality, and behavior. This impairment of the brain breeds irrational thought and perpetually erodes the host’s relationships with others until their most valued relationship can no longer be salvaged, often destructively. In William Shakespeare’s Othello, Othello himself is infected with the jealousy virus when Iago tells him that Cassio is committing adultery with Desdemona, which causes him to sink further and further into the pool of irrationality. Through the juxtaposition of Othello’s virtue and bonafide faith…show more content…
Othello’s “free and open nature”(2.1.391) makes him vulnerable to Iago’s artifices, which allow him to be easily manipulated and made jealous by Iago’s lies, which are fueled by his envy of Cassio and Othello’s higher power in the venetian army. When Othello talks to Iago in Cyprus, he places a high value on faith, trust, and sufficient evidence for accusations of adultery. “Think’st thou I’d make a life of jealousy, To follow still the changes of the moon With fresh suspicions? No! To be once in doubt Is to be resolved. Exchange me for a goat When I shall turn the business of my soul To such exsufflicate and blowed surmises, Matching thy inference” (3.3.181-197). Although Othello denies wholeheartedly that he is not jealous, he is consumed with doubt and

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