Theme Of Loyalty In Othello

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1. Examine the role of reputation, love, jealousy, or betrayal in the play. Focus on one issue and make an original and well-supported argument

INTRO: In Othello by William Shakespeare, reputation plays a large role in the actions of many characters. Othello is a well respected general in the military, but when he starts to doubt his wife’s fidelity, he is wrought with anger. At first, he does not believe the rumors but when he sees what he thinks is proof he grows furious. He believes people would look down at him and mock him if anyone were to uncover his wife was disloyal. The thought that she was disloyal and had tarnished his name drives him into insanity. Iago similarly hears rumors that his wife had cheated on him. However, he
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P1: Both Othello and Iago are distraught at the idea of being cheated on, and decide to get revenge. Iago has heard rumors that Emilia has slept with both Othello and Cassio. However, he does to know if they are true, but he says, “I, for mere suspicion in that kind, / will do as if for surety”(I.iii. 325-326). The mere rumor is enough for Iago to become jealous and angry. He is terrified by the idea that his wife would cheat on him and destroy his honor. As a result, Iago decides to get revenge on the men who insulted his honor. Iago tells Othello that Desdemona, his wife, is cheating on him. Iago warns Othello not to have the very reaction he is hoping Othello has. However, in telling Othello, “Beware, my lord, of jealousy!...what damned minutes tell he o’ver / who dotes, yet doubts- suspects, yet soundly loves,” he is also describing his experience (III.iii.195, 199-200). Othello is …show more content…
In one of Iago’s soliloquies he tells the reader, “It is thought abroad that ‘twixt my sheets/ ‘Has done my office” (I.iii. 430-432). Though this is a mere rumor, Iago takes it as fact. However, instead of being upset at Emilia, he is furious at Othello. This may have to do with the fact that your wife sleeping with a black man is worse than if she were to cheat on you with a white man. Iago also believes that Cassio has slept with Emilia and incorporates Cassio into his plan for revenge, but does not cause Cassio so much misery that he commits suicide. Iago is also angry at Othello because Othello chose a politician to be lieutenant over himself. Iago was made the flag bearer which puts Iago in a much less respected position than he believes he deserves. Iago does not simply want to kill Othello; he wants to cause him as much emotional pain as possible. Iago states that “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. 318-321). Iago has experienced the jealousy of not knowing whether his wife has cheated on him or not because of Othello, and decides that Othello should endure that same pain. He plans to, “Put the moor / at least into a jealousy so strong / that judgement cannot cure”

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