The Green-Eyed Monster
The perception of jealousy being “green-eyed” likely predates Mr. Shakespeare, though The Bard is our earliest authority in print. His first reference is in The Merchant of Venice. It is Portia who refers to “green-eyed jealousy”, but it is in Othello where Will coins the more intense term “green-ey’d monster.”
However, before Shakespeare and since, jealousy has been the object of literature, art, song, folklore and film, resonating for people because of uncomfortably familiar parallels in their own lives.
Whether we have been on the receiving end of someone’s jealousy or we have crossed paths with our own, it can be chilling in its corrosive grip. For jealousy causes people to do things and to act in ways they would never think of if jealousy were not pounding a loud, disquietingly compelling knell like a paranoiac metronome ticking through them with uncontrolled, tormentingly wicked intensity. It haunts. Jealousy haunts.
The green-eyed monster can be stealthfully subtle and conniving or ear-piercingly loud and aggressive, wreaking havoc of nightmarish proportions within a person’s security, many times leaving a wake of horrific consequences.
Often jealousy is but an ominously dark bogeyman conjured out of fear and misperceptions of reality. And be sure, this vampire of insecurity can suck the lifeblood out of its victims before they recognize the shadow hovering in the corner of the room.
I have been lucky, jealousy has not found a place to haunt or skulk in the rooms of my internal house. However, I bear disquieting witness to having seen jealousy’s specter in those whose houses I have entered, and this apparition is a phantom I am never prepared to see. My advice to you is, if you have heard the floorboards around you creaking beneath the weight of jealousy’s ominous presence, exorcise this devil of a problem. For otherwise, this green-eyed monster might just follow you and, like a zombie, feast on the logic in your mind leaving you to feel like you have become as empty as the walking dead.
Photo Credit: Jeff Oien @ Flickr