Status And Reputation In Shakespeare's Othello

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The desire for a good reputation and a high status is very important to many characters in Othello. If either of these are threatened, it causes some characters to act without thinking, in a desperate attempt to protect their image. Status gives people power, but it can also be used to bring people down. Reputation can be used as a way to deceive others in order to gain power and control. Cassio’s reputation was everything to him, and once his reputation became tainted, he felt as if he had lost his identity. Othello’s status and reputation protected him from Brabantio’s threats in the beginning. Iago used the other character’s status and reputation against them in order to suffice his need for revenge. In this play, it is evident that Cassio…show more content…
The promotion that would have given him a higher status is given to Cassio, and he becomes angered by this. In the beginning he states, “I know my price, I am worth no worse a place” (1.1.11). He feels that he deserved the promotion instead. He has a reputation of being a very honest and kind-hearted man. He uses this good reputation to get into the other characters’ minds and take control of them. Without his reputation, he wouldn’t have been able to accomplish his goals, because nobody would have trusted him enough to be fooled by him. He knows that Brabantio cares a lot about his image, so when him and Roderigo are outside Brabantio’s house he says to Roderigo, “…with like timorous accent and dire yell, as when, by night and negligence, the fire is spied in populous cities” (1.1.76-78). Iago knows how important Brabantio’s image is to him and, by yelling, he is attracting negative attention from neighbors and onlookers to Brabantio. He is also able to use his honest reputation to plant the idea that Desdemona is unfaithful in Othello’s mind. If Othello did not think that Iago was honest, he wouldn’t have believed him as quickly as he

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