Explore the Top 7 Symbols of Jealousy and Their Profound MeaningsExplore the Top 7 Symbols of Jealousy and Their Profound Meanings

Emotions have always played a significant role in shaping the human experience. These powerful feelings have the ability to create a range of responses within us, from happiness and love to fear and jealousy. Jealousy, in particular, is an emotion that can be complex and intense, revealing the deeper layers of our desires and insecurities.

In many cultures, symbols are used to represent the complex meanings associated with jealousy. These symbols can be found in various forms, from colors to animals, and hold a significant place in our collective consciousness. Their symbolic meanings often transcend language and provide unique insight into the human condition.

One of the most well-known symbols of jealousy is the green-eyed monster. This phrase, popularized by Shakespeare’s Othello, is rooted in centuries of symbolism. The color green has long been associated with envy and jealousy, representing a sense of longing or a desire for something that someone else possesses. The green-eyed monster serves as a reminder of our own insecurities and the potential darkness that can lurk within us.

Another symbol linked to jealousy is the drop of a hat. This expression originates from the idea that jealousy can manifest instantly, without warning or reason. This symbol captures the notion that jealousy can arise suddenly, tearing away the fabric of trust and happiness. It serves as a reminder of the fragility of relationships and the potential dangers of unchecked jealousy.

Researchers have also observed a link between jealousy and dogs. In ancient mythology, dogs were often seen as symbols of loyalty and fidelity. However, when it comes to jealousy, dogs take on a different meaning. They represent the protective and possessive nature that can arise when we feel threatened or insecure in our relationships. This symbolic representation of jealousy in dogs helps us understand the complexity of this emotion and its impact on our behavior.

One of the more intriguing representations of jealousy is the snow. While snow is often associated with purity and innocence, it can also represent the cold and bitter feelings that arise out of jealousy. The whiteness of snow can symbolize the idea of a fresh start, but when tainted by jealousy, it takes on a more sinister meaning. The melting of snow can also represent the deconstruction of relationships under the weight of jealousy.

In conclusion, the symbols associated with jealousy are diverse and varied, reflecting the complexity of this powerful emotion. From the green-eyed monster to the drop of a hat, these symbols offer insight into the deeper meanings and implications of jealousy. They remind us of the way jealousy can shape our thoughts, actions, and relationships, and encourage us to examine the root causes of these feelings. By understanding the symbolic representations of jealousy, we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and the emotions that drive us.


Colors play a significant role in the symbolism of jealousy. Different colors represent various emotions and ideas, enhancing the depth of their meanings. Here are some key colors associated with jealousy:

  • Red: This vibrant color symbolizes intense emotions like anger, passion, and jealousy. Red-eyed snakes, for example, may represent jealousy, while an item like a red tablecloth could signify envy.
  • Yellow: Yellow-flowered items, such as daffodils, are symbolized as representing jealousy due to their association with deceit and envy. In some cultures, yellow is also associated with jealousy and suspicion.
  • Green: Green is often linked to envy, with the term “green-eyed monster” being used to describe jealousy. Throughout literature and art, the color green is frequently associated with jealousy and envy.
  • White: White symbolizes purity and innocence, but it can also represent jealousy. In Shakespeare’s Othello, the character Iago refers to jealousy as the “green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on,” associating envy with the color white.
  • Blue: Although not traditionally associated with jealousy, blue can represent possessiveness and longing. In some contexts, blue can represent jealousy over a person’s environment or success.
  • Black: Black can symbolize many emotions, including jealousy. In the poem “Jealousy” by William J. Drummond, it is described as a “black dog,” lurking and tearing at a person. In some cultures, black rats are seen as symbols of jealousy.
  • Gray: Gray can represent envy or a state of being torn between conflicting emotions. It is often associated with a sense of ambivalence or mixed feelings.

In conclusion, colors have a significant symbolic meaning when it comes to representing jealousy and related emotions. They enhance the contextual and cultural associations of jealousy and deepen our understanding of the complex nature of envy.


Rats have a long history of symbolism in various cultures. They are often associated with fertility and abundance, as they have the ability to reproduce rapidly. Researchers have also found that rats can be used as a control in studies on emotions, making them a symbol of emotional control.

In many cultures, rats are seen as a symbol of jealousy. The phrase “green-eyed monster” is commonly used to describe feelings of jealousy, and rats are often depicted with green eyes in art and literature. This association between rats and jealousy may stem from the common belief that jealousy can “lurk” in the shadows, just like rats.

Rats are also symbolic of intelligence and resourcefulness. They are known for their ability to find a way into almost any space, which can be seen as a metaphor for finding solutions to difficult problems. In this sense, rats symbolize a cleverness and adaptability that can be admired.

Furthermore, rats are often associated with filth and disease, making them a symbol of fear and disgust. In William Shakespeare’s play “Othello,” the character Iago refers to Othello as a “black ram” and Desdemona as a “white ewe,” symbolizing the fear and disgust associated with their interracial relationship.

In some cultures, rats are also associated with wealth and prosperity. In Chinese culture, for example, the rat is the first animal in the zodiac cycle and is considered a symbol of good luck and wealth. Likewise, the Year of the Rat is seen as a favorable time for financial success.

In conclusion, rats have a wide range of symbolic meanings that vary across different cultures and contexts. They can represent fertility, intelligence, control, fear, and even wealth. Whether they are seen as a negative symbol of jealousy or a positive symbol of abundance, rats have always played a significant role in human culture and imagination.

Takeaway Symbols of Jealousy
1 Rats
2 Green-eyed monster
3 Snake
4 Yellow-flowered plant
5 Dogs
6 Snow
7 Vanity


In the realm of jealousy, certain things can symbolize this complex emotion. These objects vary across cultures and can symbolize jealousy in different ways. Let’s explore seven common objects that are often associated with jealousy and the meanings they can have.

1. Rats

Rats have long been associated with jealousy. In the play Othello, a key symbol of jealousy is a handkerchief with red eyes that has been dropped on the table. Researchers have even found that rats can feel envy towards other rats for having access to more food.

2. Dogs

Dogs, throughout various cultures, are often associated with jealousy. In some contexts, they symbolize loyalty and protectiveness towards their owner, but in others, they can be seen as a symbol of jealousy and possessiveness.

3. Mirrors

Mirrors have a dual symbolic meaning in the context of jealousy. On one hand, they can symbolize vanity and self-obsession, which can be fueled by jealousy. On the other hand, they can also symbolize the idea of “lurking behind another” as a jealous person may constantly compare themselves to others.

In addition to these three key symbolic objects, there are many other things that can be associated with jealousy. For example, the color green is often linked to envy and jealousy, while the color red can symbolize anger and frustration.

Animals, in general, have a rich symbolism when it comes to jealousy. For instance, the peacock’s beautiful display can be seen as a symbol of envy, as can the snake’s ability to shed its skin and transform.

In different cultural contexts, objects such as a gift or a piece of jewelry can also be associated with jealousy. For example, the Greek word “phthonus” represents both envy and jealousy, and it is often connected to a feeling of wanting what someone else has.

Jealousy is a complex emotion that can be represented in a myriad of ways. From colors to animals and everyday objects, the symbolism associated with jealousy is vast and contextual. The meanings of these symbols may vary from person to person and from cultural environment to cultural environment, but they all provide insight into the depth and complexity of this powerful emotion.

Symbolism of Jealousy

Jealousy is a complex emotion that can be difficult to express and understand. Throughout history, various symbols have been used to represent jealousy and its deep meanings. In this article, we will explore some of the most common symbols associated with jealousy and what they represent.

1. Red-eyed Woman

One of the most recognizable symbols of jealousy is the image of a red-eyed woman. The red eyes symbolize the intense anger and envy that a jealous person feels. This symbol is often used to depict a woman who is consumed by jealousy and unable to control her emotions.

2. Green-eyed Monster

Another symbol of jealousy is the “green-eyed monster”, a term coined by William Shakespeare in his play Othello. The color green is often associated with jealousy, and the metaphor of a monster represents the destructive nature of this emotion.

3. Snow

While not commonly associated with jealousy, snow can be a symbol of the cold and lurking nature of envy. Like jealousy, snow can be beautiful from a distance but can also cause destruction and isolation.

4. Vanity

Vanity is another symbol often linked to jealousy. The excessive pride and self-importance associated with vanity can fuel a person’s jealousy towards others. This symbol represents the desire for attention and admiration that often accompanies jealousy.

5. Yellow

The color yellow is also associated with jealousy in some cultures. It is believed that yellow symbolizes cowardice and envy, making it a fitting representation of this complex emotion. Yellow-flowered plants and other yellow objects are often observed as key symbols to represent jealousy.

6. Dogs

Animals have long been used as symbols in literature and art to represent various emotions, and dogs are often associated with loyalty and protection. However, they can also symbolize jealousy, particularly when used to depict a character torn between loyalty to their loved ones and their own jealous feelings.

7. Mirror

In writing and art, mirrors can often symbolize self-reflection and introspection. In the context of jealousy, a mirror can represent a person’s tendency to constantly compare themselves to others and view themselves as lacking in some way.

In conclusion, jealousy is a complex emotion with many different symbols associated with it. The red-eyed woman, green-eyed monster, snow, vanity, yellow, dogs, and mirrors are just a few examples of the symbols used to represent jealousy and its deep meanings. These symbols can help us understand and explore the intricate emotions and motivations that jealousy brings forth.

Yellow Color

When it comes to jealousy, the yellow color is something that may not immediately come to mind. Usually associated with happiness, warmth, and sunshine, yellow seems like an odd choice to represent such a negative emotion. However, in some cultures and writings, yellow has been observed to have a deeper meaning.

In Shakespeare’s play “Othello,” for example, the character Iago refers to jealousy as the “green-eyed monster.” This association of jealousy with the color green is more common, but yellow has its own contextual symbolism as well.

Yellow can symbolize many things, depending on the context. In some cultures, yellow is associated with youth, while in others, it is seen as a symbol of vanity and jealousy. It can also represent fear and caution, like the yellow caution signs we see on the road.

In the animal kingdom, yellow-colored animals may be associated with envy or caution. Researchers have observed that some animals use their yellow coloration to signal warnings or dangers to predators or competitors. The yellow color in this context may symbolize a warning to stay away.

In some instances, yellow can also be associated with grief and mourning. The yellow color of dying leaves and flowers can represent the sadness and melancholy that comes with loss. In these cases, yellow may take on a more somber and dark meaning.

In summary, while the association of jealousy with the color yellow may not be as common or well-known as the green-eyed monster, it does have its own symbolism and meanings. Yellow can represent youth, caution, warnings, grief, and more. So, next time you see a yellow object or gesture, consider the deeper meanings it may hold in the context of jealousy.

Cultural and Contextual Symbolism

When it comes to jealousy, various symbols have been used throughout history to symbolize this complex emotion. These symbols often mirror the deeply rooted cultural and contextual beliefs of a society. In different cultures, jealousy can be associated with different symbols, colors, animals, and even gestures.

In Shakespeare’s play “Othello,” jealousy is a central theme, and the symbols used to represent this emotion vary. For example, rats and dogs are often associated with jealousy in the play. Green-eyed and yellow-flowered plants have also been linked to jealousy, with researchers associating them with suspicion and envy.

Jealousy is not always seen as a negative emotion. In some cultures, it is considered a symbol of love and protection. For example, the color red is often associated with jealousy in Chinese culture, symbolizing happiness and good fortune.

Jealousy can also be symbolized by animals. For instance, the snake is often used to represent jealousy due to its association with temptation and deception. In some cultures, the snake is seen as a symbol of wisdom and youth, which adds further layers of meaning to its symbolism in regards to jealousy.

Symbolism can also help us understand different contexts in which jealousy may arise. For example, in the play “Othello,” jealousy is not only evident in the interactions between the characters but also in the environment. The dark and snowy settings symbolize the inner turmoil and fear that jealousy brings.

Throughout history, jealousy has been represented in various symbolic ways. Understanding these symbols can help us explore the different aspects of jealousy, from happiness to frustration, and from love to fear. By writing about jealousy and its symbolic representations, we are able to delve deeper into the human experience and the complexities of relationships.

In conclusion, cultural and contextual symbolism plays a significant role in understanding the symbols associated with jealousy. These symbols can represent a wide range of emotions, from love and protection to fear and frustration. By exploring these symbols, we can gain a deeper understanding of jealousy and its impact on individuals and society as a whole.

What are the key symbols in Othello?

One symbolic item in “Othello” is the handkerchief. This piece of fabric symbolizes Desdemona’s fidelity and once belonged to her husband, Othello. The handkerchief is considered a gift of love and trust, but its loss symbolizes the lurking jealousy and their crumbling relationship.

Another symbol is the snake. In the play, the snake represents jealousy, as it is often associated with a venomous and dangerous nature. Like a snake, jealousy can poison relationships and lead to tragic consequences.

In addition, the colors yellow and green are used throughout the play to symbolize jealousy and envy. Othello is described as having “green-eyed monster” within him, which represents his jealousy and suspicion. The yellow-flowered plant symbolism also reinforces the presence of envy and jealousy in the characters.

Dogs and rats are other symbolic animals in “Othello.” Dogs are often linked to loyalty, but in the context of the play, they are representations of mistrust and betrayal. Rats, on the other hand, symbolize deceit and treachery, particularly in the scene where Iago compares Desdemona to a rat.

Vanity is another key symbol in “Othello.” The characters’ obsession with appearance and reputation reflects their insecurities and fears. This vanity fuels their jealousy and contributes to their downfall.

Lastly, snow is used as a symbol of purity and innocence, contrasting with the darkness of jealousy and evil. Its presence highlights the tragic consequences of Othello’s actions.

In conclusion, “Othello” utilizes various symbols to portray the themes of jealousy, suspicion, and envy. Through the use of these symbols, Shakespeare explores the complex nature of human emotions and the destructive power of unchecked jealousy.


Jealousy is often associated with certain gestures that symbolize suspicion and possessiveness. These gestures, which are observed in both human and animal behavior, can help to understand the deep meanings and emotions behind jealousy.

One of the most common gestures associated with jealousy is the red-eyed stare. This intense gaze is often linked to the idea of jealousy, as it is seen in characters like Othello’s nemesis, Iago. The red eyes are a symbolic representation of the dark and intense emotions that jealousy can bring about.

In some cultures, certain gestures have specific meanings when it comes to jealousy. For example, in Greek culture, the gesture of dropping a writing instrument is seen as a symbol of jealousy and suspicion. This gesture is associated with the belief that jealousy can lead to a loss of focus and the ability to trust, hence the action of dropping a pen or pencil.

Animals also have their own symbolic representations of jealousy. Rats, for example, are often associated with jealousy and suspicion due to their territorial nature. Similarly, dogs may exhibit gestures like lurking or growling as signs of jealousy.

In addition to gestures, colors also play a significant role in the symbolism of jealousy. While green is often associated with jealousy due to expressions like “green-eyed monster,” other colors like yellow and red can also be linked to feelings of jealousy. Yellow is often associated with envy and fear, while red can symbolize anger and passion.

Researchers have found that jealousy and its associated gestures and colors have common cultural meanings. For example, in ancient Egyptian culture, the color green was linked to jealousy, as it was believed to be the color of the god of jealousy, Phthonus. These common cultural meanings can help to explain why certain gestures and colors are commonly associated with jealousy.

In conclusion, gestures and colors are key symbols when it comes to understanding the deep meanings and emotions behind jealousy. Whether it’s the red-eyed stare, the dropping of a pen, or the association with certain animals, these symbols help to explain the complex nature of jealousy and its impact on our thoughts and actions.

Table of Symbols:





Red-eyed stare

Dropping a writing instrument

Green, yellow, red

Suspicion, possessiveness

Loss of focus, mistrust

Jealousy, envy, anger, passion

Key Takeaway:

Jealousy can be expressed through various gestures, colors, and symbols, which can help to explain the deep meanings and emotions associated with this complex emotion. Whether it’s the red-eyed stare or the association with certain animals, these symbols provide insights into the nature of jealousy and its impact on individuals.


What are the cultural and contextual symbols of jealousy?

Cultural and contextual symbols of jealousy can vary depending on the society and setting. Some common symbols include green color, yellow color, dogs, snakes, rats, and specific gestures.

What do the green color symbolize in relation to jealousy?

Green color is often associated with envy and jealousy. It represents jealousy because it is the color of sickness, bile, and rotting. In many cultures, green is used to symbolize jealousy and feelings of envy.

Are there any objects that symbolize jealousy?

While there are no specific objects that universally symbolize jealousy, objects like a mirror or a piece of jewelry can symbolize jealousy in certain contexts. For example, a mirror can symbolize jealousy when someone is envious of their own reflection. A piece of jewelry may symbolize jealousy if it is seen as a symbol of wealth or success that someone envies.

What is the meaning of the yellow color in relation to jealousy?

Yellow color is often associated with jealousy because it represents deceit, cowardice, and falseness. In some cultures, yellow is used to symbolize jealousy and envy.

Do animals symbolize jealousy?

Yes, animals can symbolize jealousy. Dogs, for example, are often associated with loyalty and protectiveness, but they can also be jealous if they feel threatened by someone or something. Similarly, snakes are seen as symbols of jealousy because of their sly and cunning nature.

What are the key symbols in Othello?

One of the key symbols in Othello is the handkerchief, which represents love, fidelity, and trust. Another symbol is the color black, which is associated with evil and darkness, reflecting the jealousy that consumes the characters in the play. The snake is also a powerful symbol in Othello, representing deception and betrayal.

What symbols represent envy?

Symbols that represent envy include the color green, which is often associated with jealousy. The snake is also a symbol of envy, as it is often depicted as sneaky and deceptive. Another symbol of envy is the rat, which is associated with treachery and backstabbing.

What is the symbolism of jealousy?

The symbolism of jealousy often revolves around colors, such as green and yellow. These colors are associated with envy and possessiveness. Additionally, animals like dogs and snakes can symbolize jealousy due to their predatory and territorial nature. Objects like the fofo plant and the handkerchief can also represent jealousy and its destructive effects.