Reputation In Othello Essay

556 WordsDec 9, 20103 Pages
Reputation is the estimation in which a person or thing is held. This, reputation, is one of the main themes in Shakespeare’s “Othello”. Many of the characters pride themselves on and hold high their reputations. Due to them caring about this so much people are betrayed, cheated, and even killed. Iago had one of the best reputations of anybody in the play. He was known as an honest man who would never lie, especially to Othello who says “Iago is most honest” (II.iii.7). Iago uses this to his advantage and begins to deceive and uses everyone around him. No one thought that Iago would betray Othello, Desdemona, and Cassio in such a way because of his great reputation. Since no one thinks he would, it is possible to do so. At one point he even tells Cassio that “Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit and lost without deserving.” (II.iii.246-47), even though he does not believe this. He only says it to better himself. In another scene, Iago tells Othello that reputation is everything. Once again, only because it would benefit himself. Even though Iago had a great reputation, he was not even close to a great person. Othello is known and respected as a military general. He is a serious man and his reputation on the battle field in unmatched. Othello is manipulated by Iago multiple times during the play. Iago tells him that Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair and Othello believes him because of his reputation as “Honest Iago”. Although, Othello’s reputation causes some problems as well. Othello believed that reputation was everything, so if someone found out his wife had an affair, he would be ruined. This contributed to why he kills Desdemona. Othello is also the murderer of Cassio’s reputation. Due to Othello demoting him, his reputation was destroyed. Othello does not mean to do this as we can see when he says “Cassio, I love
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