The Value Of Reputation Essay

1107 words - 5 pages

Reputation is a great part everyone’s life; everyone wants to have a good reputation in order to be respected by society members. William Shakespeare proves the importance of reputation’s role on all of the character’s lives by showing importance of reputation in the play “Othello”. Every member of society lives for the reputation, without it life becomes much more challenging. Reputation is shaped and influenced by one’s character and their past that can be used to one’s benefit. It cannot be determined by a being but what other’s believe to represent one’s identity. Reputation is an image in society that everyone wants to maintain, leading one to conclude that reputation means respect in a society.

A good reputation is needed in order to be with respect in a society. Those who have maintained a good reputation in society are given respect, but those who have not maintained a good reputation face more challenges in their life.
“Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
Who steals my purse steals trash; ‘tis something, nothing;
‘Twas mine. ‘tis his, and has been slaved to thousand;” (Shakespeare 3.3.155-158) Reputation is very important to Iago as shown in his point of view.With a “good name” (3.3.155) members of society are treated with respect and kindness, but those with a bad reputation will not be given the same respect. In a society people are valued for what they have accomplished or what they are known for, they can either benefit from their reputation or their reputation can cause many obstacles to come their way. People who do not have a good reputation are looked down upon in society, and not respected in any from. Reputation can be defined as “an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit, and lost without deserving.” (2.3. 246-247) It is built upon over years to emphasize on a person’s identity, but it can easily be lost with a blink of an eye, without even knowing. Those who understand its true value and what it brings to them cherish it. Othello is a respected man in society with “what conjuration, and what mighty magic…[he] won his daughter” (1.3.109-111) Showing its value amongst classes in a society, people of a higher class have a much prestigious reputation than those of a lower class. Nevertheless, reputation is not simply found, but developed over the years through their actions, viewpoints and judgments of others.


Reputation is not always correctly based on a person’s character but how they decide to portray it. Iago is shown to have a good reputation, an honest and loyal man to Othello and the society, but that does not mean it is the reality. Othello believes Iago without knowing his true nature and refers to others "Iago is most honest," (2.3.7). Iago is shown to be trustworthy in the past because he has not deceived anyone, and proved his loalty to Othello with several years of service for him. Also being the reason why Othello believes in him. Since Iago has a...

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