Othello is a play rich in metaphor, and other various forms of wordplay, symbolism, irony, and several recurrent themes. The biggest theme in the play is the theme of jealously. In Othello, jealousy takes many forms, from the suspicion of an affair to competition for a job. Jealously will be destructive in all cases, however. From the beginning of the play jealousy runs the characters lives. Most of the jealously takes place between Othello and Iago.
Iago already hates Othello for passing him up for a promotion and giving the job too a younger Michael Cassio. Iago selfishly wants everyone to feel like him. He wants all the characters to feel equally jealous. Iago devises a plan to make Othello think that his wife, Desdemona, has had an affair with Cassio. There has also been a rumor that Othello has slept with Iago’s wife Emilia. This leads to a quote by Iago in which he says, “I hate the Moor, and it is thought abroad, that ‘twixt my sheets ‘has 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 1.3.355-58). This is interesting because, earlier in the play Iago sai. .delity, knowing that when it shows up in Cassio’s possession Othello will be convinced of Desdemona’s unfaithfulness.
Indeed having the handkerchief was enough to convince Othello. The handkerchief in his mind was enough evidence that his wife had been unfaithful, because the handkerchief was such an important symbol of their love. The Tragedy of Othello is certainly a story about the dangers of jealousy and the toll it can take on the people who are consumed by it. Othello was a good man at heart, but when he became overtaken with jealousy that was brought by Iago, he was unable to control himself. Iago manipulated Othello into showing his true character. This story is full of life lessons and themes, as well as symbolism, irony, metaphor, and crafty wordplay by the work of Shakespeare.
With all that, it really keeps the reader invested throughout the whole drama.