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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: February ::
Re: green-eyed monster
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0398  Tuesday, 20 February 2001

[1]     From:   Tom Bishop <
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        Date:   Friday, 16 Feb 2001 14:22:16 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0388 Re: green-eyed monster

[2]     From:   Scott Oldenburg <
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        Date:   Friday, 16 Feb 2001 12:05:59 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0388 Re: green-eyed monster


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Bishop <
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Date:           Friday, 16 Feb 2001 14:22:16 -0500
Subject: 12.0388 Re: green-eyed monster
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0388 Re: green-eyed monster

Larry Weiss writes:

> I am mildly astonished by the confusion in this thread between jealousy
> and envy.  "Jealousy," at least as used in Elizabethan and Jacobean
> times, was suspicion that one's spouse or lover was unfaithful.  "Envy"
> was and is covetousness.

The two, however, share a common iconography, as in Spenser, deriving
from Ovid, and the Latin word for both is "invidia". ("Aemulatio", which
we might also translate as "jealousy" now, means something quite
different.) Their interconnection was suggestively laid out by Cicero,
who refers to the "ambiguum nomen invidiae" and comments that "invidia
non in eo qui invidet solum dicitur, sed etiam in eo cui invidetur"
(Tusculan Disputations 3.9.20 and 4, 7, 16).  The jealous man, one
assumes, was not inaccurately seen as presuming virulent envy in others
for his happy state, thereby, of course, rendering his happy state
exquisitely unhappy.  This sort of interinanimated projection is all
over the place in Othello.

TB

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Scott Oldenburg <
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Date:           Friday, 16 Feb 2001 12:05:59 -0800
Subject: 12.0388 Re: green-eyed monster
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0388 Re: green-eyed monster

In Othello jealousy is described as "a monster, / Begot upon itself"
(III.iv.161-2).  In addition to "eyes" and "green," then, one might also
consider the appropriateness of the word "monster," often used in the
sense of hybridity or unnatural coupling. Karen Newman and Patricia
Parker both interpret the monster images of the play as relating to
female sexuality--also significant in Othello's jealousy.

Best,
Scott
 

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