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Reputation In Othello

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courtney schaefer

on 25 October 2013

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Transcript of Reputation In Othello

"Her honor is an essence that’s not seen,
They have it very oft that have it not."(4.1.16-7)
Reputation In Othello
Desdemona
Desdemona's value of reputation is low, she doesn't care what her reputation is as she chose to marry the Othello or the moor. This causing her dad to view her as a dishonest, daughter who can not trust every again.
Cassio
Cassio values his reputation very highly. He views it as the very making of himself and that without it he doesn't know who he is.
Othello
Views his reputation as protection of being viewed as the moor of Venice. He tries hard to have the reputation as a responsible military man, who is also very trust worthy. He uses his reputation to protect him from Brabantio when he is accused of stealing Desdemona.
Iago
Iago values his reputation very highly as he uses it to get what he wants by being two faced.

In Othello Shakespeare shows his audiences that reputation is what can ultimately be your down fall. He also shows the audience that depending on the person the value of reputation may vary.
Othello's death is caused by the lose of his reputation. By killing Desdemona Othello is showing that he is no more then a dangerous, evil, jealous, moor. Exactly what he was trying to prove wrong, that he wasn't just some monster different from all other Venetians.
His reputation leads to him being taken advantage of by Iago. As Othello' reputation is that of a trustworthy man. With knowledge of this and his hatred towards Othello for not choosing him as lieutenant, Iago takes advantage of Othello by showing people he is nothing more than a moor, which is achieved by Othello killing Desdemona.
"Let him do his spite:
My services which I have done the signiory
Shall out-tongue his complaints. 'Tis yet to know,--
Which, when I know that boasting is an honour,
I shall promulgate--I fetch my life and being
From men of royal siege, and my demerits [deserts, merits]
May speak unbonneted to as proud a fortune
As this that I have reach'd . . . . " (1.2.17-24)


"For that I do suspect the lusty Moor
Hath leaped into my seat. The thought whereof
Doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards,
And nothing can or shall content my soul
Till I am evened with him, wife for wife"(2.1.220-4).
"Speak of me as I am. Nothing extenuate,
Nor set down aught in malice. Then must you speak
Of one that loved not wisely, but too well.
Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought,
Perplexed in the extreme. Of one whose hand,
Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away
Richer than all his tribe."(5.2.359-66)
"I am not what I am."(1.1.67)
To everyone other then Iago, his reputation is viewed as the friendly, honorable person who they can turn to when in need of advice, especially Othello, Cassio and Rodrigo, who constantly call him "honest Iago".
"Honest Iago,
My Desdemona must I leave to thee."(1.3.290-1)
"Iago is most honest."(2.3.6)
To the audience Iago is viewed as an evil, mischievous, jealous man due to his may soliloquies, discussing his plans to get revenge on Othello for supposedly sleeping with his wife and giving Cassio the promotion he wanted.
"How? How? Let’s see.
After some time, to abuse Othello’s ear
That he is too familiar with his wife.
He hath a person and a smooth dispose
To be suspected, framed to make women false."(1.3.332-5)
"Now ’mongst this flock of drunkards
Am I to put our Cassio in some action
That may offend the isle.
    But here they come.
If consequence do but approve my dream
My boat sails freely, both with wind and stream."(2.3.43-8)
Iago views reputation as a defining trait in a person. That without a reputation there is no person, their identity is missing.
"Who steals my purse steals trash. 'Tis something, nothing:
'Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands.
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him
And makes me poor indeed."(3.3.163-169)
Other characters in the play view Desdemona as a perfect example of the patriarchy. A honest, obedient, fair women that stays quite.
The audience views Desdemona's reputation as a Innocent, truthful women who is killed for no reason other then being obedient.
Iago sees the weakness that comes out of Cassio with the loss of his reputation, this leading to Iago taking advantage of him.
"If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trace
For his quick hunting, stand the putting on,
I’ll have our Michael Cassio on the hip,
Abuse him to the Moor in the right garb
(For I fear Cassio with my night-cape too)
Make the Moor thank me, love me, and reward me"(2.1.228-34)
"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!"(2.3.226-9)
The audience sees Cassio's reputation as a bachelor, as he is in a relationship with Bianca but for only one reason, that not being love.
"I marry her! What? A customer? Prithee bear some charity to my wit. Do not think it so unwholesome. Ha, ha, ha!"(4.1.109-11)
"Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see.
She has deceived her father, and may thee."(1.3.286-7)
Iago leads Othello to believe that Desdemona doesn't deserve the reputation she has which is a good reputation of being honest, obedient, and fair.
Full transcript