Monster Jealousy

Jealousy has led many people to do monstrous things. Everything from locker room pranks that undermine the confidence of a star rookie to murderous former spouses, starts with the green-eyed MONSTER called jealousy.

Iago — the prototype human manipulator monster — plays on Othello’s fear of marital betrayal.

Oh, beware, my lord, of jealousy!

It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock

The meat it feeds on. That cuckold lives in bliss

Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger,

But, oh, what damnèd minutes tells he o’er

Who dotes, yet doubts— suspects, yet soundly loves!

In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein — and the few films and plays that follow her original storyline — jealousy drives the monster’s most horrendous choices. After being repeatedly rejected by people, he demands that his creator make him a companion — a wife. Dr. Frankenstein agrees but changes his mind and destroys his second creation, leaving his first monster to fester in a jealous stew of angst.

Mary Shelley’s genius is in her ability to make you care and identify with the monster — with his core of loneliness and despair — while abhorring his revenge against his maker. (He kills the doctor’s bride, arguing that neither of them should experience the happiness and fulfillment of having a mate.)

It all boils down to jealousy!

The green-eyed monster is at the heart of so many great stories. Let’s be free of it in real life and enjoy it on the page.




    • Candy

      Someone once told me that the difference between Jealousy and Envy was that one could envy a friend’s good luck, (great new boyfriend, fabulous job, beautiful hair, etc.) but to be jealous one would want to take it (the object of envious feelings) away from the other person.

      The difference is also described as envy is between two people and the third — the object of affections — is needed for jealousy. It’s the “If I can’t have her no one can!” murderous logic.

      Interesting stuff for storytelling. Scary, crazy stuff in real life.

  1. I think the green-eyed monster is hardwired into all of us, but in a perfect world we wouldn’t give in to it. Sadly like self-doubt, it’s hard to conquer.

    • Candy

      oooooh… Hardwired, interesting…
      I wonder if an Artificial Intelligence would have to have bit of jealousy programmed in, in order to be “human-like”?

  2. People get jealous about so many things too. I hate to think of all the things I used to spend time being jealous of when I was a kid and all the energy I put into feeling that way. Thankfully, the green-eyed monster never led me to do truly monstrous things… although I’m sure I did my share of petty things.

    • Candy

      Yes, I think for most of us non-MONSTERS our jealousy just leads to petty revenge. Gossiping about someone or being rude. It’s pretty pathetic, but it’s also very much a part of the human condition.