Friday, October 21, 2011

Firewater Friday - Jealousy is all the fun you think they had

It’s not easy being green . . . or so Kermit says.  It’s even harder when you’re struggling with the green-eyed monster who feasts on the flesh of jealousy.  Kermit doesn’t seem like the jealous type . . . perhaps he was green with envy.

Why is green the representative color of such fierce emotions.

Shakespeare told of the green-eyed monster in Othello “O! Beware my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-ey’d monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on”

 . . . and again in The Merchant of Venice.   "How all the other passions fleet to air, as doubtful thoughts and rash embraced despair and shuddering fear and green-eyed jealousy!"

Shakespeare, however, did not make the first association with the color.  That goes back much, much further.

Sappho, a seventh century B.C. poetess Sappho uses the color to describe the face of a stricken lover. After that, the word was used freely by other poets to denote jealousy or envy.

My eyes are dead to light, my ears
pound, and sweat pours over me.
I convulse, greener than grass . . .

The Greeks who believed that jealousy was accompanied by an overproduction of bile.  The bodily fluids or "humors" were said to lend a yellowish-green tinge to he who was jealous.

You should note that I say “he who was jealous” . . . he.  That is because men have a stronger tendency towards jealousy than the fairer sex.  How do I know this?  It’s evolutionary, my dear Watson, evolutionary. 

It is a fact that males . . . not females . . . risk the possibility that their offspring could potentially be those of another . . . of a rival male.  Therefore men often suffer from “paternity insecurity" . . . the focus of jealousy is generally pointed directly the would-be (or could-be) physical infidelity of his chosen mate . . . whether real or imagined.

“Jealousy is that pain which a man feels from the apprehension that he is not equally beloved by the person whom he entirely loves”

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