Reputation in Othello Essay

936 Words May 18th, 2013 4 Pages
Reputation in Othello
Reputation is the general way in which people perceive you to be based off of facts and opinions. Your reputation defines you as a member of society, and it can be used towards your benefit depending on if your reputation is good or bad. A good reputation often enables one to gain trust and respect from others, while a bad reputation may lead one to be considered as a treacherous and disloyal individual. Reputation plays an important role in Othello, as Iago uses his own reputation as well as the reputation of others to manipulate people throughout the play only to benefit himself. Iago has what one might describe as a good reputation. He is well respected and considered an honest man, and Othello relies on him
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Othello believes Iago, regardless of the fact that Iago has provided Othello with little evidence to support his proclamation. It is his reputation of being such a good and honest man that gets Othello, as well as Cassio, to believe him. The reputation of characters other then Iago also plays a role of vital importance in the play. Iago uses the reputation of Cassio to trick Othello into believing that he is having an affair with his wife. Iago also recognizes Othello’s reputation as a very straightforward and honest person, thus meaning that he will believe Iago as long as he seems honest. Cassio holds the reputation of a handsome man and a smooth talker, the type of guy anybody would believe to try and seduce another man’s wife. His reputation helps convince Othello of Iago’s idea of an affair, “He hath a person and a smooth dispose, /To be suspected, framed to make women false (1.3.334-335). Amongst the characters in the play, one’s reputation is regarded as something to be valued. It is very important to most people. After the fight Cassio says: “Reputation, reputation, reputation! Oh, I have lost/ my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of/ myself, and what remains is bestial. My reputation,/ Iago, my reputation!” (2.3.206-209). He is telling Iago that what he considers to be most important to him is ruined. Iago disagrees and tells him that

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