Reputation In Othello Essay

1227 words - 5 pages

Reputation means everything in this world from past to present. It is the importance of reputation that can make a play such as Othello so intriguing. Reputation is something people earn but is given to them by others. In Othello, reputations are destructed and aren’t always what they appear to be. Why would the concern of reputation overrule their morality in the play? I will be analyzing each characters reputation and follow-up with how they all connect into the story.
In this time period a “Moor” was man of color who was seen more different than others of the white race. For Othello, it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing because people saw him as more erotic than as a moor. He was a ...view middle of the document...

Reputation meant a lot to Othello because it gave him respect. As Othello is still a moor, he secretly marries Desdemona which made an interracial marriage. Interracial marriages at this time had a bad reputation and were frowned upon heavily especially by desdomnas father who disapproved of their marriage and this would soon lead to a war. Othello’s free spirited nature would soon be the fall of him when he is deceived by Iago’s reputation. For in the last scene of the play Othello says he “Loved not wisely, but too well.”
Iago’s uses his reputation too his advantage in the play when he deceives and manipulates Othello. Iago becomes jealous of Cassio’s rising rank and felt the need to get rid of him. In act 2 scene 3 Iago proclaims “As I am an honest man, I thought you had received some bodily wound; there is more offence in that than in reputation. Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit, and lost without deserving: you have lost no reputation at all, unless you repute yourself such a loser.” He tries to tell Cassio that his reputation doesn’t matter so that it would be easier for Iago to deceive him. Iago earned the reputation in the beginning as being an honest and noble man to Othello. Othello would often refer to him as “Honest Iago” and would say phrase like "O, that's an honest fellow", "You advise me well... goodnight honest Iago."(act 2 scene 3). Iago could possibly be one of the worst villains in Shakespeare because he is such a good deceiver. Macaulay stressed that even though he was plotting against her "Desdemona aids the process, twice commending Iago's honesty, a conviction of which in the other characters is now essential to his design" (173) Iago never led anyone to believe he would ever cause harm to Othello or have any bad intentions what so ever. Without Iago’s reputation he would have probably been killed for even suggesting that Othello’s love, Desdemona, would ever cheat on him. Iago cared more about his reputation than his morals. He said he was an honest man but he lied. He said he was a loyal man but he killed and deceived.
Desdemona earns her beginning reputation when she is the daughter of the Venetian Senator Brabantio. Back in 1473, fathers would usually protect their daughters and keep them “pure” so that if a deal or treaty needed to be made,...

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