What’s the “green eyed monster” in Othello? When is it used?

In Shakespeare’s play Othello, the phrase “the green-eyed monster” is used to refer to jealousy. The character Iago, who is the villain of the play, uses this phrase in Act 3, Scene 3, while trying to make Othello jealous by planting the seeds of doubt in his mind about his wife Desdemona’s loyalty. Othello is consumed by jealousy and mistreats his wife as a result.

The phrase “the green-eyed monster” has become famous and is often used to describe feelings of envy. Shakespeare’s use of color symbolism is a reflection of the cultural beliefs of Renaissance England. The color green was associated with jealousy and envy during that time. However, the use of a monster to represent jealousy adds to the power of the phrase. Jealousy is a destructive and all-consuming feeling, which is vividly represented by the image of a beast. The phrase has become famous because of Shakespeare’s ability to turn a color metaphor into a popular idiom.

Using colors as a way to convey emotions is a common technique in literature. It allows writers to evoke feelings without explicitly stating them. This can add to the beauty of the work and engage the reader’s imagination. In Othello, Shakespeare’s use of the color green and the image of a monster adds to the emotional intensity of the play and helps to create a lasting impact on the audience.


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