Act 5 of Othello by Shakespeare demonstrates how the power of jealousy fuels betrayal. Iago was so jealous of Cassio that he was led to deceiving his friends. These feeling of jealousy caused Iago to destroy Othello and Desdemona’s relationship, kill his friend Roderigo, and kill his wife. Clearly, Shakespeare’s Othello depicts the strength jealousy has and what it leads to.
- Make an argument
- Take a position
- Topic sentence: title, author, strong verb, agree/disagree (correctly portrays/ incorrectly portrays), because ___________ and ______________
Othello by William Shakespeare correctly portrays the power the jealousy holds and how it has the ability to fuel betrayal and revenge.
- Claim 1:
- Set-up: Othello is convinced by Iago that Desdemona has cheated on him and he becomes extremely jealous and angry. These feelings lead him to betray his wife.
- what is happening in the story
- Evidence: Lead-in: Othello quickly decides that the only way to deal with Desdemona and punish her is by murdering her. He comes into her room right before he kills her and says, “ quotation” (“If you bethink yourself of any crime Unreconciled as yet to heaven and grace, Solicit for it straight” (Shakespeare 5.2.30-33). )
- Explanation of quotation to prove claim: Othello explains to Desdemona that she must confess to her crimes and pray for forgiveness one last time before she dies. He doesn’t give Desdemona a chance to explain herself or confess the truth to him. The jealousy he felt led him straight to betraying his wife and killing her.
- Counterclaim 1: However, ....
- Set-up: However, jealousy does not seem to fuel betrayal when Iago murders Roderigo.
- Evidence: Lead-in: Roderigo and Cassio had been the ones fighting but in the end Iago was the one to kill Roderigo. Right before he stabbed Roderigo, Iago shouted, “ quotation” ( “O murd’rous slave! O villain! (Shakespeare 5.1.73). )
- Explanation of quotation to prove counterclaim: Iago was trying to blame Roderigo’s death on Cassio by making it seem like he had just found the two men. He had no reason to kill Roderigo, and he had never been jealous of him before. Therefor proving that jealousy is not needed to fuel revenge.
- What are the strengths/ flaws of this argument? A common view is that revenge and betrayal are brought upon on their own, and that jealousy does not fuel it. This makes sense because not all betrayals are fueled by jealousy. However, most of the time jealousy is the aspect that causes the want for revenge. When someone wants vengeance on someone, or wants to betray them, it is most commonly because they are jealous of them. Jealousy can cause someone to go as far as even killing someone they love. This just goes to show the power jealousy truly has over people.
Concluding sentence: restate main idea: Shakespeare illustrates how envy is so powerful that it causes the want for deception and vengeance on others.