Reputation In Othello Essay

1588 WordsJan 18, 20127 Pages
Sunday 11th December English- How does Shakespeare Present ideas about Reputation in Othello? Throughout the play Othello, reputation is a continuous theme demonstrating the importance of reputation at the time when the play was set and the effects a ruined reputation can have among the characters. Iago uses his reputation as an honest man to deceive Othello and every other character in the play; including his own wife. Othello's reputation plays a key role throughout the play as he is portrayed as the courageous Moor who is the only one skilled enough to protect Venice. His reputation also helps him avoid punishment from the Duke of Venice by marrying Brabantio’s daughter Desdemona. Finally Cassio's changing reputation has a big part in the outcome of the play, reflecting just how much a ruined reputation can affect a person in this society whilst also allowing Iago to place Cassio in a position where he seeks aid from Desdemona which Iago uses as an opportunity to demonstrate the growing closeness between Desdemona and Cassio. The whole plot of this Shakespearian tragedy revolves around Iago's thirst to ruin Othello's reputation. Iago's reputation plays a key role throughout the entire play as he is able to psychologically and physically manipulate and deceive everybody around him. He has been referred to by critics as ‘Shakespeare’s wickedest character.’ Every time Iago is mentioned by other characters, it is his honesty which is talked about, ‘O, that's an honest fellow’, ‘You advise me well... goodnight honest Iago.’ Iago manages to convince everyone that he is a noble and honest man, which he uses this power to his advantage. Iago plans to use this image of him being an honest man to gain revenge upon Othello for choosing ‘a great arithmetician, one Michael Cassio, a Florentine,’ over Iago for the position of lieutenant. Iago believes that Cassio was
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