Essay on Jealousy in Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, and Winter's Tale

874 Words 4 Pages
Jealousy in Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, and Winter's Tale



The common thread of jealousy ties together the main plots in Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, and The Winter's Tale. In each of these plays, the main conflict is centered around some form of jealousy. While jealousy is the mutual, most prominent cause for turmoil in these plays, its effects on the characters, and ultimately the plots, is different in each case. This difference has much to do with the way in which the concept of jealousy is woven into each play, and what it is intended to accomplish.

In Othello, the jealousy factor is deliberately introduced by Iago, with the precise intention of destroying those whom he feels have wronged him. Since it is
…show more content…
Ultimately, the deception based on Iago's jealousy, which resulted in Othello's induced jealousy, brought about the downfall of most of the characters in the play - including Iago himself.

The way jealousy is introduced into the plot of The Winter's Tale is much different than Othello, and thus it has different results. In Othello, the jealousy was incited by Iago, a character; in The Winter's Tale, no one purposely inspired Leontes' jealousy, he came about it on his own. In this way, no character wielded jealousy as a weapon against another but, rather, it was both introduced by and used on the same character. Leontes, although he specifically asked Hermione to be nice to Polixenes, completely misinterpreted her actions and took them to be signs of infidelity. He was so convinced by his jealousy that Hermione was unfaithful that he refused to believe the baby was his daughter, and had her sent away. Everyone suffered from Leontes' jealous rage for sixteen years until Perdita came back and the misunderstanding was resolved. The difference in this resolution is that it had a happy ending. Although some characters died as a result of Leontes' unfounded jealousy, all of the main characters ended up alive and happy. In this way, the jealousy did not have such a drastic, negative effect because it was not intended to by any of the characters.

In Much Ado About Nothing,…