green-eyed monster/green with envy

green-eyed monster/green with envy

Jealousy. The green-eyed monster comes straight from Shakespeare’s Othello (3.3), where the villain Iago tells Othello, “O! beware, my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-ey’d monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.” The poet’s allusion is to the green-eyed cat family who tease their prey, seeming to love and hate them at the same time. However, a greenish complexion also was associated with jealousy, and elsewhere Shakespeare wrote “Troubled with the green sickness” (Antony and Cleopatra, 3.2). Jealousy and envy are not precisely synonyms; the first is a feeling of resentment against someone who enjoys success or an advantage, or who is a rival; the second is more a feeling of covetousness with regard to someone’s possessions or advantages. Nevertheless the color green came to symbolize envy as well, although somewhat later.
See also: envy, green, monster