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Othello Reputation

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Othello Reputation

In the Shakespearian play Othello building and destroying reputations plays a vital role in the story progression. Without the ability to build a good reputation Iago never would have been able to get away with everything he told Othello. With the aid of a good reputation Iago seizes every opportunity to cut Othello down a bit. Destroying reputations however plays an even larger role in Iago's quest. When Iago see's that he has an opportunity to get closer to Othello by getting rid of Cassio. He does so by ruining Cassio's reputation.

Right from the beginning the play shows how big a role reputation will play in the story. Iago knows that Othello is married to Desdemona, who is the daughter of Brabantio. "I assure you that the noble Brabantio is very highly regarded and has so much influence that he's as powerful as the duke." So by alerting Brabantio of Othello and Desdemona Iago hopes that the powerful noble being outraged will strip Othello of his rank and promote Iago to the top. Then soon after Iago works with Roderigo trying to help him with his love for Desdemona by telling him "You can count on me..." repeatedly to build up a trust.

Since Iago has a good standing with everybody he has the ability to easily manipulate people. Soon Iago shows us how reputation can not only be good for you and lead to trust but, how reputation can also ruin someone. When Iago sets out to remove Cassio from the picture he knows that if Cassio makes a fool of himself he will be fired from his position. Knowing that Cassio is not a drinker Iago simply gets Cassio drunk and then kicks back and watch as he destroys himself. After Cassio does just as Iago hoped Cassio is feeling upset and says that he is injured "... beyond the help of medical aid."

Later again in the story reputation plays big in Othello's jealousy. Because Cassio is seen as a womanizer and Desdemona a beautiful perfect lady who could never love him, it becomes easy for him to believe that Desdemona is sleeping with Cassio. Because of Cassio's reputation everything falls into place and Iago has everything fall into his lap. (Until the end) It is the constant build and destruction of reputation that allows this story to be told.

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