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Similarities of Love and Jealousy in today's society - Dreaded Shakespear


yonman 6 / 47  
Jul 9, 2009   #1
Hi everyone!

I should let you know English is not my specialty.

My teacher is hard and this is my final year and I need to do well.

The task is to write an analytical essay on a topic you chose. I chose love makes people do crazy things. With the general theme of love basically.

This is my intro so far:

In today's society as well as the past love played an important role in people's lives. Experiencing this feeling may happen instantly, or it could take time to develop. When in love the emotions felt are so unique yet each time the experience is different. Even though love sounds great, there are times when it can lead to a dramatic downfall. The feeling of love can lead to violence and anger if worthy people thought to be honest devote time to dishonestly ruin relationships. Love is a powerful feeling, and sometimes it forces people to do crazy things. In William Shakespeare's story Othello, he portrayed and developed the topic of love to destroy people though anger,violence,mistrust along with uncertainty. Anger felt when your wife cheats on you can lead to devastating consequences.

This was my introduction with my thesis. Please give me some hints if you could? Thanks!!

The next body paragraph will be about Othello's anger fueled by Iago when he assumes his wife is cheating on him.

The rough is copy is due tomorrow so I'll post more up soon because I'll probably be up all night. Going for a nap now though

Cya

EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Jul 9, 2009   #2
In today's society as well as the past love played an important role in people's lives.

This empty statement should be replaced by a vivid and engaging introduction.

When in love the emotions felt are so unique yet each time the experience is different.

Here, the word "yet" is out of place. "Yet" suggests that what is to come contradicts in some way what has just been said. But "unique" and "each time the experience is different" mean essentially the same thing.

Love is a powerful feeling, and sometimes it forces people to do crazy things.

This should maybe be your first sentence, if you can't think of an example or quotation that would be more engaging.
OP yonman 6 / 47  
Jul 9, 2009   #3
Thank you very much!

When I have my body paragraph up I will post it.
OP yonman 6 / 47  
Jul 9, 2009   #4
By the way I assume you're British since you suggested that I start with a quote, but my teacher said never do this.I'm from Canada.

My new topic sentence is "When people are in love the emotions felt are very unique, but the power of love can sometimes make man do crazy things."
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Jul 9, 2009   #5
By the way I assume you're British since you suggested that I start with a quote

What? Are Brits now famous for starting with quotes? That's a new one on me. I'm from the States. Sean, you're in Canada, yes? Is starting with quotes prohibited there?
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jul 10, 2009   #6
Absolutely. Only damned imperialists would even think of it. :-)

Of course not. That said, I've never been a big fan of starting an literary analysis essay with a quotation. Quotations in those sort of essays are meant to provide proof of your main points, and so fit better in your body paragraphs. However, Simone's overall point, that most of your introduction is empty, vague, trite, and deserving of being cut, remains valid. You are writing an essay about Othello, so start in directly by saying something about the play, rather than writing yourself into a topic by starting with overly general statements about society and love.
OP yonman 6 / 47  
Jul 10, 2009   #7
Thanks Sean!

It was captains orders to start the topic off generally and then talk about how its used in Othello. I need to work on my intro more but I think my topic sentence that I posted has improved to be more engaging. Like I said I no writer!

This is my first body paragraph: and I think it needs work

The character Othello is fueled by anger and starts to change when Iago speaks of Desdemona cheating on him. Once man and women are happily married, all seems well. If someone is suspected of cheating on their lover, it can drastically alter their state of mind. "Oh,now forever farewell the tranquil mind...Othello's occupation's gone."(Shakespeare 3,3 399-409) In this situation Othello starts to lose his dignity. He cannot handle mentally whats going on and starts to melt down. He even speaks of resigning from his job as general. In addition to love interfering with his career, it also makes him very angry. Iago's taunting of the handkerchief being in possession of Cassio further infuriates him. "If it be that, or any that was her, It speaks against her with the other proofs"(Shakespeare 3,3 500-501) This statement by Iago makes Othello think that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio. Othello's anger can get so overwhelming that he fell into an epileptic seizure. Iago takes full advantage of this. "Nature would not...Handkerchief!-oh devil" (Shakespeare 4,1 48-53) The false affair enrages Othello so much that he falls into a epileptic seizure. His anger is starting to affect his health and well being. The entire affair has been caused by Iago's mistrust and his ability to attack peoples weak points.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jul 10, 2009   #8
I still say you need a more focused thesis. Yes, Iago poisons Othello's mind against Desdemona, but the real question is why it works so easily, and I'm not sure the answer has anything to do with love. Othello is older than Desdemona. He is also black. Both of these facts predispose him to believe that Desdemona could never really love him. He is convinced, somewhere deep down, that he is an outsider, and must always be so. So, to him, it is only natural that Desdemona should find someone more suitable for her. And remember, she betrayed her father by marrying against his wishes, so he knows her capable of deceit and dishonor. So, Othello isn't destroyed by love, so much as by a deep sense of insecurity.
OP yonman 6 / 47  
Jul 10, 2009   #9
Thanks Sean for the feedback. Well its a little late to change my entire thesis since I just can't spark up ideas in a jiffy, and I'm suppose to have a rough copy done and I don't think its going to be finished.

Also, if you look at things in a more general perspective you may find my thesis more clear. I'd think that Othello was destroyed by mistrust, due to the fact that Iago lied that his love life was being cheated. So if you look at it this way in a more general sense then does it become more clear?

Also Roderigo was destroyed by love too I think. Since Iago told him that he would eventually be with Desdemona. Iago used Roderigo's love for Desdemona to eventually kill him.

If my thesis still seems unclear maybe you could help me alter it a bit so that I can still use the ideas that I came up with?

Thanks
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jul 10, 2009   #10
But he isn't mistrustful. He accepts Iago's words at face value, without any real questioning of them. He afterward suspects Cassio and Desdemona of villainy, but he doesn't seem to mistrust either of them until Iago comes along. And at no point in what you have now do you explain how love necessarily breeds mistrust, or even how it makes Othello himself mistrustful, which is what you say you are going to talk about in your intro:

"In William Shakespeare's story Othello, he portrayed and developed the topic of love to destroy people though anger,violence,mistrust along with uncertainty."

But then later, you say:

"The entire affair has been caused by Iago's mistrust and his ability to attack peoples weak points." Now the mistrust is Iago's? And even if you mean "Iago's deceit," you are admitting that love doesn't lead Othello to destroy anyone. Rather, Iago does, by playing on people's weaknesses. And, in Othello's case, that weakness seems to be insecurity rather than an overly loving nature.

This is what I mean when I say your thesis isn't clear. You don't really talk about how love is destructive. You talk instead about how angry Othello becomes when he thinks Desdemona is having an affair, without looking at why he believes that without even discussing the accusation with her first.
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Jul 10, 2009   #11
So often, especially but not only within abusive relationships, jealousy is assumed to be an indicator of love. Is it, really? Are love and the wish to possess synonymous?
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jul 10, 2009   #12
Those are excellent questions, and would yield yet another way of writing a good essay on the topic. You might even be able to salvage some of what you already have. That said, it is usually easier and quicker to start from scratch (whichever approach you take) than to try to salvage something that doesn't really hold together at all.
OP yonman 6 / 47  
Jul 10, 2009   #13
EF_Sean

Hmm. well this is so sick. I just finished 90% of my essay. Thank you for telling me its crap. It is really appreciated that you take the time to help me.

I will pull an all-nighter to try and get it done on time.

I think I can salvage a bit of what I have from what I wrote. Yes I agree the topic "jealousy is an indicator of love." Now I must get about 10 quotes to prove this.

I just have one question, what could be in my 3-4 body paragraphs when talking about this topic? I guess I could write about Cassio and Desdemona. But I really would not know how to make 3-4 body paragraphs out of this topic.

I mean in my previous thesis I picked out love destroys everyone by anger violence and mistrust...but for this topic I guess the same could be applied?

Could the topic be jealousy is an indicator of love and revenge?

Thanks
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jul 10, 2009   #14
Thank you for telling me its crap.

You're very welcome :-)

Seriously, though, don't be discouraged. Essays sometimes start off on the wrong track. I've had that happen to me before -- I've started writing an essay and realized three-quarters of the way through that it's off-topic, or that I overlooked an argument or detail that throws off my case. So, I guess you could say it happens even to the best of us. Better that I tell you than your teacher, though. And on the bright side, you now have a much better idea of how your essay should be constructed, and so your next draft should take you much less time to write.
OP yonman 6 / 47  
Jul 10, 2009   #15
EF_Sean

Yes thank you. Could sir please comment on what I was asking last post please? So I know I'm going on the right track this time!
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Jul 10, 2009   #16
Well, I personally was simply pointing out that you were assuming that jealousy is an indicator of love, as opposed to an indicator of a degenerate need to possess and control other people. I disagree. I do not believe that jealousy in any way signifies love. But, certainly, Othello offers a wealth of opportunities to argue that in the play jealousy and love are treated as if synonymous. One could also argue that the play's tragedy resides in this confusion of terms.
OP yonman 6 / 47  
Jul 10, 2009   #17
synonymous

ok I'm very lost and confused. You're saying that jealousy and love mean the same thing? So could the topic be Jealousy vs love? I maybe could brain storm a thesis statement if that is the case.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jul 10, 2009   #18
Essentially, she's saying you could define love, define jealousy, then argue that the two meanings get confused within the play, leading to tragedy. When we love someone, we are supposed to want them to be happy. So, if Othello loves Desdemona, and wants her to be happy, he might ask what about their relationship might have driven her to an affair (assuming he still believes Iago) and even whether or not she might happier with Cassio (whether they were having an affair or not). Jealousy is merely a desire to possess someone for oneself, without regard for their happiness. So, jealousy and love are not synonymous. However, a case could be made that, in the play, the the two words are treated synonymously. That is, Othello is jealous when it comes to Desdemona because he believes that is how one should be with someone one loves. After all, no one in the play argues that Othello's actions would have been wrong if in fact Desdemona had been having an affair . . .
OP yonman 6 / 47  
Jul 10, 2009   #19
Thank you very much. You're great intellect has made me go into a thinking frenzy. When I have my intro paragraph done I will post it.

Now the hard part is how to relate similarities of Love and Jealousy in today's society.
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Jul 10, 2009   #20
Not at all! Many people today confuse love and jealousy. Very frequently, jealousy disguised as love is used as the excuse for abuse. Perhaps you have known someone who has behaved as if jealousy and love were the same thing. Or perhaps you have known someone who was hurt by a jealous partner who claimed to love them.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jul 11, 2009   #21
And I would still tend to argue that jealousy arises as a result of insecurity and love mingling. That is, someone who is insecure will tend to become jealous of the person he or she loves, because he or she will not truly believe themselves worthy of being loved.
OP yonman 6 / 47  
Jul 11, 2009   #22
All this thinking has made me confused. Like I said writing essays is not my strong point epically on difficult topics like this.

I came up with two ideas for my 2 main body paragraphs and tried my best to relate them to topic Jealousy and love get confused. I'm not sure if I'm not the right track:

1. Othello's jealousy confused his love for Desdemona even though she was honest and when people are in love that's a main trait. I thought the same thing happened to Cassio.

2. The confusion of Othello's feelings of love and jealousy in the end made him commit suicide.

* I was going to change the topic to Jealously over powers love but I couldn't see how that played into Othello's tragedy.
OP yonman 6 / 47  
Jul 11, 2009   #23
I'm so failing this essay ;(

DAMN YOU WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE AND YOU'RE ABILITY TO WRITE COMPLICATED MASTERPIECES THAT CONFUSE THE HELL OUT OF ME!
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Jul 11, 2009   #24
Actually, think you are on the right track with your idea about jealousy overpowering love. Keep at it. Don't despair. Jot down as many ideas as you have about that, along with as much supportive evidence as you can think of, and then organize those ideas into an outline. Then write from your outline. Write short, simple sentences. Refer back to the play as often as you can.

Also, is your teacher one who likes you to turn in your rough drafts and outlines? If so, be sure to turn in all of the different ways that you tried to approach this topic, all of your false starts, everything. That way, your teacher will see that -- as a student is supposed to do -- you have been sincerely struggling to make sense of the play and find something sensible to say about it.
OP yonman 6 / 47  
Jul 11, 2009   #25
EF_Simone

Wow I'm on the right track...that never happens. And yes he wanted to see all rough work.

But when Othello killed himself how was that jealousy overpowering love? I'm asking this because its a key element in the play and I have to have it in my essay.

Thanks
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Jul 11, 2009   #26
Othello killed himself only because, earlier in the play, jealousy overpowered love, leading him to commit the horrific acts he now regrets so sincerely. Use his final speeches to argue whether or not you think he learned the lesson.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jul 11, 2009   #27
You might try pulling up an etext version of Othello and doing a search for "jealousy." This will allow you to easily find key quotations that relate to your topic, and might make it easier for you to find support for your points.
OP yonman 6 / 47  
Jul 11, 2009   #28
Ok, these are the ideas I have for the topic Jealousy overpowers love.

1. Roderigo's love was overpowered by Jealousy and it lead to his death.

2. Othello's love for Desdemona was overpowered by jealousy.

These are the two main ones I have which are not enough. I was thinking of saying that Iago's love for Othello was overpowered by Jealousy but I don't even know if Iago really has respect for Othello before he upgraded Cassio. Plus its not even really love.

Maybe I should focus on the topic Jealousy destroys everyone through hatred, revenge and mistrust?
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jul 11, 2009   #29
Perhaps you could argue that Iago is a villain because he is so consumed with jealousy that he has no room in his soul for love. He sets out to destroy Othello in large part because he suspects his wife of cheating on him with Othello. He knows that this suspicion is unreasonable, that no such affair ever happened, but he can't keep himself from feeling jealous anyway. Indeed, he is jealous of Othello's "loving nature," of his marriage to Desdemona, of his rank, of everything about Othello. He is jealous of Cassio, too, whom he thinks Othello has favored more than him. He's almost a personification of jealousy, and he poisons the hearts and minds of those around him, destroying their ability to think lovingly. You should be able to do something with that, given your new topic.
OP yonman 6 / 47  
Jul 11, 2009   #30
EF_Sean

Sorry but I don't understand you're logic here. I understand you're main points but I could not come up with enough information to prove the points. Like I said I really am a bad reader and cannot just pull great ideas out of the air like you guys.

I'm going to resort to Jealousy destroys everyone through hatred, revenge and mistrust since I think its my only option here.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jul 12, 2009   #31
Well, since your mind is made up, that's that, really. Still, the topic is one that works well with play, so you should be able to come up with a decent essay.
OP yonman 6 / 47  
Jul 12, 2009   #32
Alright here is my third attempt, please tell me what you think and edit. I will try to embed love into this as well.

Jealousy has been part of human existence since centuries ago, and can affect all kinds of people, from the poorest beggar to the wealthiest king. It's powerful enough to lead men to steal, lie, cheat and display other horrible acts towards their friends. The emotion has the ability, if used by the right individual to change insecure people's minds into thinking the truth. Even though they are only believing lies. Furthermore the feeling can also cloud ones thoughts so that jealousy overpowers all other feelings. In William Shakespeare's play Othello, he portrayed and developed the topic Jealousy consumes people through hatred, misplaced trust and revenge which eventually leads to tragedy. The first step towards jealousy in Othello is hatred against a Moorish general.

...
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Jul 13, 2009   #33
The emotion has the ability, if used by the right individual to change insecure people's minds into thinking the truth. Even though they are only believing lies.

This is confusing to me. Otherwise, I really like your introduction.

I notice, however, that the essay lacks a conclusion.
OP yonman 6 / 47  
Jul 13, 2009   #34
EF_Simone
well that was only part of the essay ;) its due right now and I was up all night

I'll let you know how I did!

thanks
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jul 13, 2009   #35
Well, as you've already handed it in, I'll forebear from giving overly detailed feedback now, but your essay seems to have improved greatly from previous versions. I hope you get a good mark.
OP yonman 6 / 47  
Jul 17, 2009   #36
I tried my best but no matter how hard I try I always seem to EPIC fail!

Thank you for your help. I only got a 68%.

If you want I could post up my essay.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jul 17, 2009   #37
Well, is that better, worse, or the same mark as the one you usually get? What comments did your teacher give you? And yes, if you'd like you can post the essay, and we can help you see how you might have improved it, so you can do better on your next assignment.
OP yonman 6 / 47  
Jul 18, 2009   #38
Thats what I usually score but I'm trying to get into University so its not good enough. Heres the essay:

Jealously Consumes
Jealousy has been part of human existence since centuries ago, and can affect all kinds of people, from the poorest beggar to the wealthiest king. It's powerful enough to lead men to steal, lie, cheat and display other horrible acts towards their friends. The emotion has the ability, if used by the right individual to change insecure people's minds into thinking the truth. In this case the truth was deceit. Furthermore the feeling can also cloud ones thoughts so that jealousy overpowers all other feelings. In William Shakespeare's play Othello, he portrayed and developed the topic Jealousy consumes people through hatred, misplaced trust and revenge which eventually leads to tragedy. The first step towards jealousy in Othello is hatred against a Moorish general.

Hatred in this play was one of the initial emotions in the characters that lead to tragedy. Iago, who was currently third lieutenant of the army in Venice was jealous that Othello promoted Cassio to second lieutenant. This act caused Iago to hate Othello and think of a way to get back at him.

"Despise me
If I do not. Three great ones of the city,
In personal suit to make me his lieutenant,
Off-capped to him; and, by the faith of man...
Nonsuits my mediators For 'Certes,' says he, (Shakespeare I,I 8-11/17)

Iago was jealous because he thinks he deserves that rank much more than Cassio. Cassio only learned battle techniques from books Iago mentioned. In addition three important noble men from Venice asked Othello to promote Iago, but Othello still went with his decision. This jealousy was only the beginning of what's later to come and what was ultimately going to destroy Iago. Iago's jealousy and hatred increase when he suspects that Othello slept with his wife.

"I hate the Moor,
And it is thought abroad that 'twixt my sheets
He's done my office. I know not if't be true,
But I, for mere suspicion in that kind,
Will do as if for surety" (Shakespeare I, III 430-434).
Iago doesn't really have any proof of this happening, but he believes it anyway. His hatred for Othello made him believe this vague rumour being spread. Clearly his jealousy from previous scenes has made him gullible to believe anything Othello did, even if it was a rumour. Near the ending of the play, when Emilia realizes that Iago used his jealousy induced scheme to cause all the horrible acts he committed, she had great hate for him. ."If he say so, may his pernicious soul Rot half a grain a day! He lies to th' heart." (Shakespeare V, II 190-192). Emilia knowing that she helped her husband do these terrible deeds she blabbered out everything which then in turn made Iago stab her out of hate for the truth knowing his scheme was ruined. His evil plan was created in the first place when he persuaded people to believe him, which he used misplaced trust, to attack people's weak points.

The plays tragic flaw was caused when mistrust was used against Othello and Cassio which leads to jealousy. Earlier on in the play in Iago's soliloquy he states that Othello was of free and open nature. "The Moor is of a free and open nature, That thinks men honest that but seem to be so" (Shakespeare I, III 442-443). Iago was speaking about Othello and telling that he was an honest and open minded man, and that his plot will work to his advantage because of that. Also, Othello already knows that Iago was fairly honest since he probably worked with Othello for sometime; hence he was third lieutenant and has earned respect. Iago uses Othello's honest spirit against him so that Othello rewards Iago with a promotion to second lieutenant. "Come, go with me apart I will withdraw, To furnish me with some swift means of death For the fair devil. Now art thou my lieutenant." (Shakespeare III, III 543-546). This was a major mistake made by Othello since his trust for Iago has risen even though what Iago told him about his marriage was untruthful. Iago can now cloud Othello's mind with jealousy which overpowers his love for Desdemona. Later on, in the play when Iago proves to Othello that Cassio was indeed cheating on him Othello's jealousy skyrockets. Ironically this entire plot was created by Iago and his ability to be perceived as an honest man when his reality was full of lies. As Othello listens to the conversation of Iago and Cassio, Othello was influenced by Iago's mistrust because of what he was told earlier on about the affair. "I marry her! what? a customer! Prithee, bear some charity to my wit: do not think it so unwholesome.Ha, ha, ha!" (Shakespeare IV, I 137-140). As Othello was interpreting what was going on, he has no doubts not to believe what Iago was say earlier was true. Not only was Othello's mind clouded by mistrust but so was Roderigo's. He was also foolish and easily manipulated by Iago's false honourable nature. Iago also states that he's a fool and it's easy to gain money this way. "Thus do I ever make my fool my purse: For I mine own gain'd knowledge should profane, If I would time expend with such a snipe. But for my sport and profit."

(Shakespeare I, III 426-429). Since Roderigo was jealous of Othello marrying Desdemona he was willing to sell all his land. Then they will both to go Venice since booth of them have issues their. Both of these dishonest despicable schemes forced Cassio and Othello to plan their revenge, ultimately killing them.

In Iago's final steps towards domination he gets rid of Cassio, while Othello is fuelled with false revenge, thus leading to his death. Iago has made Roderigo jealous through revenge, when he tells Cassio has been sleeping with Desdemona. "Besides, the knave is handsome, young, and hath all those requisites in him that folly and green minds look after: a pestilent complete knave; and the woman hath found him already." (Shakespeare II, I 267-270). Rodrigo finally believes that Desdemona and Cassio are having an affair he will pick a fight with Cassio which also conquers a bit of Iago's revenge since he heard a rumour that Cassio slept with his wife. Roderigo also does this act out of revenge since he loves Desdemona. So he does carry though with the plan and frames Cassio. "Beat me?/ Dust thou/ prate rouge?" (Shakespeare II, III 157-158). Roderigo successfully got Cassio fired and extinguished a bit of Iago's jealousy in the process. The next crime Roderigo commits will be his last. Iago, still fuelled by revenge plans a scheme with Roderigo to eliminate Cassio so that he cannot take Othello's place and Desdemona will not leave Cyprus. Really Iago wants both Cassio and Roderigo to kill each other since if any one of them lives it will jeopardize his plans. "I know/ his gait/, 'tis he/.-Villain/, thou diest!" (Shakespeare V, I 124). Roderigo was pumped with lust and revenge when attempting to kill Cassio since of the alleged rumours that he was sleeping with Desdemona. Iago was so focused on revenge that he kills Roderigo to hide he truth and keep his treasures. On the other hand Othello, blazing with rage and revenge heads to Desdemona's room. Once he arrives he cannot believe what she was saying and thinks she's was lying, even though Desdemona truly loves him. Her love for him was exaggerated when she went against her father word to marry him, but Othello was too jealous and it has consumed the love and truth that Desdemona was trying to show. He smothers her and then when he learns the truth he cannot take the truth of what he did and stabs Iago out of pure revenge. Not successful in killing the villain he commits suicide. "Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought Perplexed in the extreme" (Shakespeare V II 405-406). He could not take the guilt of what he had just done. Othello could now live with the lies that lead him to this horrid vengeance.

The play Othello, William Shakespeare described jealousy through hatred, misplaced trust and revenge which all eventually lead to tragedy. Initially hatred against Othello began when he promoted Cassio instead of Iago, as well as the rumours that he was sleeping with Iago's wife. Emilia also hated her husband for the jealous plot he planned. Next Iago uses Othello's open and free nature to cloud his mind with lies of the affair Cassio was having with his wife. He also gains Roderigo's trust and tricks him into thinking that he will help him be with Desdemona, since their both against Othello. Lastly, jealousy leads to revenge when Othello kills his wife even though she was truthful, Othello was brainwashed by lies and his love was overpowered. Iago's revenge was going as planned until his wife tattled the truth. Othello's revenge leads him to kill himself, because he couldn't continue to live with the deeds he committed. Jealousy was an evil emotion and one should be careful who he or she trusts, and have an independent mind which cannot be manipulated by lies.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jul 18, 2009   #39
The emotion has the ability, if used by the right individual to change insecure people's minds into thinking the truth. In this case the truth was deceit

Well, this part is nonsensical. Also, in an essay on jealousy, I see no working definition of the term in the intro, never a good sign. Worse, your thesis comes perilously close to plot summary, having something to do with the idea that Iago causes trouble because he is jealous of Othello, which is true, but hardly something that needs a lot of elaboration.

And sure enough, the rest of the essay consists mostly of plot summary, rather than analysis. Here's an example of what you did, followed by an example of what you should have done:

Iago's jealousy and hatred increase when he suspects that Othello slept with his wife.
"I hate the Moor,
And it is thought abroad that 'twixt my sheets
He's done my office. I know not if't be true,
But I, for mere suspicion in that kind,
Will do as if for surety" (Shakespeare I, III 430-434).
Iago doesn't really have any proof of this happening, but he believes it anyway. His hatred for Othello made him believe this vague rumour being spread. Clearly his jealousy from previous scenes has made him gullible to believe anything Othello did, even if it was a rumour.

You are essentially summarizing the plot. You have a quotation, but you don't really explain it or tie it back to your point. Your very first line after the quotation is the most promising, but you don't go anywhere with it.

Here is what you might have done if you were writing on Iago's motivation:

Iago reveals near the beginning of the play that jealousy is one of his prime motivations, and that he "hate the Moor / And it is thought abroad that 'twixt my sheets / He's done my office" (I, III 430-434). The most interesting thing here is his use of the conjunction "and," rather than 'as' or 'because.' Iago is a creature of jealousy, willing to think the worst of the Moor, but this is not why he resolves to destroy Othello. Rather, his sexual jealousy is something he harbors in addition to his hatred, which seems to have existed beforehand, fully formed for other reasons.

Or, if you were writing on the nature of jealousy:

Iago claims that he has heard rumors that Othello has cuckolded him, but he also acknowledges that these are probably baseless: "I know not if't be true, / But I, for mere suspicion in that kind, / Will do as if for surety" Jealousy then requires no proof, nor indeed presumably any actual offense at all. It needs only "mere suspicion," to fuel it. Worse, jealousy seems here almost to be an addiction, one that is fed for its own sake, so that even when no cause is present, suspicion "will do," as if the jealous person actively seeks an excuse to be jealous.

Both of these are very much first-draft, top-of-my-head things, but they give you the general idea. Note that the only plot summary here is in the lead-in to the quotation. Everything after is a reflection on the quotation given, deconstructing it by looking at key words and phrases to find out what it says about the given topic.
OP yonman 6 / 47  
Jul 18, 2009   #40
EF_Sean

Thank you for your analysis. I have the tendency I guess to summarize when I don't have a deep understanding of whats going on, which unfortunately happens quite a lot. These were my teachers comments, perhaps you agree?

-at times you have some pretty solid ideas, others are lost in your lack of explanation
- Sounds too conversational
- treat all as past events


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