Reputation plays a very important role in the play Othello. The character of Iago uses his reputation as an honest man to deceive Othello and other characters in the play. To Cassio reputation meant everything. Othellos reputation played an important role in the play. Iagos reputation played a very key role in the play.
Everyone thought of Iago as an honest man. ” O, thats an honest fellow ” , “You advise me well ….. goodnight honest Iago ” – “…..thats an honest fellow ” ” I know thourt full of love and honesty “. Iago has everyone fooled into believing that he is a noble honest man. Without this reputation of being honest he could never get Othello to believe that Desdemona was cheating on him. Othello would have probably killed him if he didnt have the reputation of being an honest man.
Iago knew that an important man like Othello couldnt ignore the possibility that his wife was cheating on him. Nobody suspects that Iago is a deceitful man and would plot and plan to destroy Othello, Cassio and Desdemona in such a cunning way. Iago used his reputation, and the insecurities of Othello being a Moor, to allow him to manipulate Othello. Othello had a reputation of being a military man, and a courageous leader. “Valiant Othello, We must straight employ you..” “Here comes Brabantio and the valiant Moor.” Othello has been a soldier since he was seven years of age, and has experience on the battle field. Othello was chosen when they went to fight the Turkish fleet. Because of his reputation, it wasnt hard for other people to accept the relationship between him and Desdemona.
As Iago started putting ideas in Othellos head about Cassio and Desdemona being together, another side of Othellos personality started to surface. Because Iago had the reputation of being an honest man, Othello couldnt ignore his insinuations about Desdemona. Othello wondered if Desdemona really loved him, or if she was just using him to rebel against her father. With Iago constantly putting these ideas in his head, Othello was convinced to kill his wife. Cassio was known to be a good soldier, and is proud of that reputation. After Iago gets him drunk, and he gets in a fight, he ruins his reputation with Othello. Othello demotes him because Othello will not tolerate that kind of behavior in his Lieutenant.
Desdemona pleads his case to Othello, because she knows him to be a good man. Iago uses the fact that Desdemona is interceding on Cassios behalf, to further convince Othello that Desdemona is cheating on him, with Cassio. He hopes this will remove Cassio and open up the way for him to become Lieutenant. Othello could always wonder if Desdemona really loved him, or if she was just using him to rebel against her father. With Iago constantly putting these ideas in his head, Othello was convinced to kill his wife.
Often, reputations and a persons true character are very different. People rely on their previous experiences or knowledge of others to make judgments about them. Iago used this to his advantage to manipulate everyone. He was a great deceiver.