"Jealousy is a state of fear, suspicion, revenge or envy caused by a real or imagined threat or challenge to one's possessive instincts. It may be provoked by rivalry, in sexual love, by competition or by desires for the qualities or possessions of another." The tragedy of Othello is the story of jealousy. There are many jealous and selfish characters. Each of the characters, at one point or another, let their jealousy take over. It seems like they all have these plots and plans on how to hurt another character in the play either physically or emotionally. They do this as an act of selfishness, so that they can feel better about themselves, and possibly get ahead in life. It is Othello's public uncertainty that makes him jealous of Cassio and allows him to believe that Cassio has slept with Desdemona. And, it is Iago's jealousy of Othello that drives him to destroy both Othello and Desdemona. What is interesting about the play is the way in which jealousy between the major characters is mainly focused on intimacy. And perhaps what makes Othello so disturbing is how quickly this type of sexualized jealousy turns into hate. For Othello and Iago love becomes hate, and hate becomes love and the difference between these two feelings is continuously being blurred. .
The jealousy created frequently throughout the play causes characters to have deep suspicions and fears about each other. This jealousy over a period of time starts major rivalry between characters. The jealousy in Othello is revealed in several ways with the most major being sexual jealousy. However, position, cruel and angry jealousies also occur and help add to the unfolding of the plot. Throughout the play many characters are suspicious and fearful of being displaced by a major enemy. This jealousy builds up into a tragic outcome with death, frustration and emotions that have been strained from the beginning of the play. The characters, often not happy with their own life and the way it's going, are forced to disturb and control others.