Honesty in othello by william Empson
· Othello uses the word honest and honesty 52 times throughout the play, no other Shakespeare play expresses a word that much, with a exception of king lear which has many uses of the word fool but doesn’t have the same puzzling deeper meaning.
· Othello himself has been called honest an obsessive amount of times, Othello howls out the word at a crucial moment before Emilia exposes Iago.
· Iago through certain situations makes others around him feel comfortable and believe he is faithful and reliable, this is why Iago talks with such irony, he uses the word honest in a patronizing way as an insult
· The audience had to make their own judgement on the social status of Emilia and Iago, the hints place Iago below the social status of Desdemona.
· By calling Iago honest Shakespeare is criticizing the word itself.
· Iago himself is not honest and doesn’t believe he is, he only calls himself honest as a lie or ironic statement.
· Iago proposes to tell Othello lies “the moor is of a free and open nature and thinks men honest that but seem to be...