Analyse how contrast helped the author communicate an important message or idea.
In the play ‘Othello’ by William Shakespeare the contrast between men and women helps to communicate the idea of the importance of reputation. Desdemona marrying Othello, Iago’s reputation as honest and kind, and Othello killing Desdemona are all examples of how the importance of reputation is different to different people.
Before Desdemona marries Othello she has a reputation throughout Venice as the kind, sweet daughter of Brabantio, a Venetian Senator.
The fact that she risked this reputation to run away and marry Othello shows that she thinks and cares more about love and happiness than she does about reputation.
Because of Desdemona’s immaculate reputation Brabantio doesn’t at first believe that she would do something like run away from home and marry a black man. He shouts at Othello, calling him a ‘foul thief’ and asking where he has hidden Desdemona. He says, “Damned as thou art, thou hast enchanted her.” This shows that he thinks Othello has bewitched Desdemona, forcing her to do such a terrible thing, instead what actually happened – Desdemona fell in love with Othello and ran away to be with him. In the end, Desdemona manages to convince Brabantio that she married Othello by choice and no witchcraft was involved.
This incident changes Desdemona’s reputation forever, although the fact that she stands by Othello shows that she doesn’t care about reputation as much as others in the play do – she cares more about her own happiness.
Throughout the play Iago is referred to many times as an honest and kind person. The quotes “good night, honest Iago” and “O, that’s an honest fellow” show that everyone is convinced Iago is just what he seems, and honest man.
In scene 2 act 3 Iago tells Cassio, “Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit and lost without deserving.”
This makes the audience think that Iago doesn’t care about reputation,...