Shakespeare on Jealousy
Jealousy and the suffering it inflicts on lovers is at the heart of Shakespeare's later romances, Cymbeline and The Winter's Tale. Few moments in Shakespeare's plays are as intense as that in which Posthumus comes to believe that Imogen has slept with Iachimo (Cymbeline, 2.4). Although they bring us to the brink of tragedy, Cymbeline and The Winter's Tale end with the defeat of jealousy, and so they are considered comedies. This is not the case with Shakespeare's best-known exploration of the "green-eyed monster" -- Othello, which ends with the murder of Desdemona and the moral destruction of our tragic hero. The theme of jealousy appears, to a lesser extent, in many other plays. Enjoy the following collection of quotations on jealousy and please click on the play to see explanatory notes and facts about each play.
You must not stay here longer, your dismission
Is come from Caesar; therefore hear it, Antony.
Where's Fulvia's process? Caesar's I would say? both?
Call in the messengers. As I am Egypt's queen,
Thou blushest, Antony; and that blood of thine
Is Caesar's homager: else so thy cheek pays shame
When shrill-tongued Fulvia scolds. The messengers!
Antony and Cleopatra (1.1)
Is whispering nothing?
Is leaning cheek to cheek? is meeting noses?
Kissing with inside lip? stopping the career
Of laughing with a sigh?--a note infallible
Of breaking honesty--horsing foot on foot?
Skulking in corners? wishing clocks more swift?
Hours, minutes? noon, midnight? and all eyes
Blind with the pin and web but theirs, theirs only,
That would unseen be wicked? is this nothing?
Why, then the world and all that's in't is nothing;
The covering sky is nothing; Bohemia nothing;
My wife is nothing; nor nothing have these nothings,
If this be nothing.
The Winter's Tale (1.2)
Iachimo. If you seek
For further satisfying, under her breast--
Worthy the pressing--lies a mole, right proud
Of that most...