Othello and Reputation

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Othello is tragedy written by William Shakespeare, that demonstrates the power and strength of reputation. The play describes how Othello and Desdemona attempt to build a life together, disregarding their difference in age and race. Although soon after their marriage, an envious Iago uses cunning lies to sabotages their once healthy relationship. Reputation plays a vital role in this play; it enables or restricts certain characters, inevitably opening the doors to the tragic ending. Iago uses his reputation for honesty to gain the trust of certain characters, only to use it for dishonest purposes. Firstly Iago uses his honest reputation to manipulate Cassio, causing him to lose his position as Othello’s lieutenant. When Iago states, “ I know my price, I am worth no worse a place” (I, i, 11) shows how Iago is envious of Cassio’s position in the military. Giving Iago motive to try and get Cassio demoted. Secondly Othello is clouded by his unjustified trust towards Iago, allowing Iago to convince him things that he would not usually believe. An example of Othello’s trust towards Iago is in (I,I 12). “This fellows of exceeding honesty.” It shows how Iago has Othello’s complete trust, which allows Iago to deceive Othello without being caught. In addition, Iago again uses his reputation to successfully lie to Roderigo about his feelings towards Othello; leaving Roderigo to believe all of Iago’s actions are in his favour. An example of Iago gaining Roderigo’s trust is in act 1 scene 1 lines 43, which states, “I follow him to serve my turn upon him.” Here Iago is explaining to Roderigo about their mutual hatred towards Othello, and how they can both benefit from it. Iago uses his honest reputation to manipulate and deceive others, causing unfortunate events that otherwise would not occur. Similar to Iago, Othello’s reputation of being a strict military general also plays a big role in Desdemona’s death and the outcome of the play. An example would be...
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