When You Shall These Unlucky Deeds Relate, Speak of Me as I Am. Nothing Externate, nor Set Down Aught in Malice.”

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Reputation allows people to consciously decide on who to trust and what judgements to make of people. In the Elizabethan times, the society was organised in accordance to reputation as this coincides with social standing, when a persons reputation was noble they were viewed as noble, and no reputation would ever be threatened without a fight. In Shakespeare’s play “Othello” the ideology of reputation is explored as it is the underlying cause to the downfall of a hierarchy of noble warriors and lieutenants. Through the play reputation is hidden in several meanings and becomes the obsession of the protagonist “Othello” as he is vexatiously manipulated through the “honest” reputation of Iago. However as it is the underlying cause to the downfall there are many more significant themes in the play-wrights such as the jealousy, manipulation and love intertwined with tragedy. Othello’s high holding of his reputation become his major downfall as he begins to put his reputation over love and kinship and believes to much of others reputations such as Iago’s reputation to be “honest” and a good advisor. Othello sees that as General of the Venetian army that he has to hold an honourable reputation for all those lower than him in the hierarchy of Elizabethan times. At the beginning of the play his reputation is to be of a “free and honest nature” however the antagonist of the play Iago uses this against him as he believes that his is to “trusting” making it easier to persuade him into believing he has been “cuckolded” by “honest” Iago. Othello sees his reputation as being his only true knowledge of himself as Iago begins to make him question everything around him making him more susceptible to manipulation. So when Iago tricks Othello into believing that he has been cheated on by the “exquisite lady” Desdemona, he can only act as he is known as a “black warrior” and so he seeks vengeance be killing Desdemona. At the beginning of the play Othello’s reputation is poised and...
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