There room lines in multiple Shakespeare plays around jealousy gift green, but it’s in Othello the he made the summary famous.

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The passage in Othello around the green-eyed monster is remembered no only because it’s together a marvelously vivid and also poetic description, however because, in that is context, that a brutally effective manipulation.

Iago is telling Othello to guard against his very own jealousy, even as we know he is doing all he deserve to to feeding it.

O beware my lord of jealousy.


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Iago’s famous line around jealousy is a poetic truth spoken to the audience. It is likewise a stare element. The is relocating the plot front by manipulating Othello, who Iago knows will only grow much more jealous once he’s told to it is in wary of the feeling.

The heat is additionally foreshadowing wherein the tragedy is headed.

It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.


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By the time Iago feeds us this line, he’s already told us the details that his arrangement to take Othello down. He’s even told us how he’s walking to do it!

He’s going to make Othello insane v jealousy, and also all the while, he’s going to to convince Othello that amidst every the intrigue and also betrayal play out approximately him, that can always trust his loyal friend Iago.

A friend so faithful he cautions him to be mindful of his own emotions.

O beware my mr of jealousy.


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The line is beautiful because it is true. That is ironic since it is a true statement yielded under completely false pretenses. That heightens the dramatic irony at work-related in the play, do the audience co-conspirators in Iago’s schemes.

If the audience had any kind of doubt around the nature of what Iago to be up to, that is v this line that all doubt should be dropped. By this allude in the play, it’s clear the all the action is being manipulated by Iago, the he is the just character that knows the full reality of what’s happening, and that the other characters are lost and also confused amidst the barrage of lies he is unleashing ~ above them.


The audience is both sympathetic come the title character, and also also part of the plot against him. They acquire to enjoy the salaciousness the what Iago is doing, your minds provoked together they decipher multiple great of truth and also lies.

As they watch among literature’s most devious and also expert manipulators in ~ work.

I read this line from Shakespeare and I think of exactly how the best manipulators play all sides that the lie. Ns think that Hitler lying come England and also France in the Munich Agreement, and likewise lying come his own nation when that staged a fake polish invasion. Ns think the American presidents native Truman with Nixon lying about the scale and activities of the Vietnam War, each for their own political interests, politics interests that, native one president to another, play to different interest groups and also ideological opposites.

I think of Henry VIII manipulating the food of history with lies intended to dispose the wives he flourished to uncover inconvenient. I think around the Kremlin feeding the upset of American voters on every sides, utilizing botnets and paid trolls come amplify lies native both left and right, the manipulators no interested so lot in pushing any kind of one lie in certain as in pushing all of them in ~ once.

Shakespeare understood that an reliable liar, one that is ready to wallow in depth of untruth that would certainly make most of us also uncomfortable to function, can ruin the to trust that enables for social cohesion in any group.

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With Iago, Shakespeare showed us how one motivated liar can have tremendous power, simply since of the destructive force that his lies.