Tue & Thu 10 – 12
Reputation: Easier Kept than Recovered
The play Othello written by William Shakespeare reveals the importance of a person’s reputation. A reputation is an opinion about the character, typically a result of social evaluation on a set of criteria, of a person. “Reputation may be considered as a component of identity as defined by others.” (Reputation Management) In Othello all the characters’ public images are crucial to their existence. The play is based on a tragic love that ends in death because of manipulation, lies and deceit. The characters identities/ roles give them a distinct place in the play and their sense of self recognition. There are several characters in specific that stand out because of the importance of their reputation in their lives. Michael Cassio is a young and inexperienced soldier who is ashamed after losing his place as lieutenant; Othello depends on his reputation as a noble hero; Iago needs to maintain an honest reputation.
“Cassio's changing reputation played a big role in the play.” (The Role of Reputation) Reputation was everything to Cassio, but once demoted he began to act differently and couldn't face Othello. Cassio, Othello’s lieutenant, who holds a high position, is much resented by Iago (Othello’s ensign). As a result, Iago hatches his plan to defeat him. Cassio is truly devoted to Othello and is remorseful after being implicated in a drunken brawl. Iago leads Cassio into committing an action that will disgrace him. Iago encourages the young soldier to give in to his weakness (drinking) and taking advantage of situation, he manipulates another soldier into insulting Cassio, in hopes of stirring up a fight. Once the fight starts, Othello arrives immediately taking control of the situation. At that point dismisses Cassio from his service because of his negligent action. (2: 3: 55-200 ) While confiding in Iago in complete dismay, Cassio says “Reputation,...
Cited: “Reputation Management Online” 16 Feb. 2011 Reputation Management Web. 29 Apr. 2013.
Shakespeare, William. “Othello” Backpack Literature X. J. Kennedy, & Dana Gioia. Boston: Longman, 2012. 762-875. Print.
Shmoop Editorial Team. "Othello Theme of Manipulation" Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 8 May 2013.
“The Role of Reputation in Shakespeare’s Othello” 2011 Importance of Reputation in Othello Web. 29 Apr. 2013
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