Theme Of Loyalty In Othello

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Enobarbus is another fascinating character where feudal loyalty is concerned and one who seems unsure of where his best interests lie: in service or out? Despite the questionable nature of Antony’s loyalty, Enobarbus remains his faithful friend and servant. When others are jumping ship for Caesar, he stays despite his better judgment. He is very obviously warring with himself. He ultimately decides to stay for somewhat selfish reasons, for:
…he that can endure
To follow with allegiance a fall’n lord
Does conquer him that did his master conquer
And earns a place i’ th’ story. (3.13.43-6)
He believes that his loyalty will gain him more fame than Caesar in the story of life. Despite this, he decides to leave Antony later in the same scene, proving that he is
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Honesty is twice scorned, as it appears to garner ill-will. Iago tells Othello that he’ll “love no friend, sith love breeds such offense” (3.3.377). He says that Othello spites him for being an “honest friend”, so he will abstain from such actions in the future because of their detrimental consequences. The irony is that Iago isn’t actually being the honest friend, as everyone seems to think. “Honest Iago” is lying to Othello through his teeth. Othello values honesty very highly; he seems to consider it a mark of loyalty. The only reason he gets mad at Iago in the scene is because he is being told things he doesn’t want to hear. He believed his wife to be honest and loyal, and Iago is refuting that. Nearly the same instance appears in King Lear as well. Lear’s loyal friend Kent is banished; “his offense, honesty” (1.2.126-7). Unlike Iago, however, he is a true ally to Lear. In an intriguing contrast to Othello, Lear is not a fan of honesty, or at least not proficient at identifying it. He only trusts what he wants to hear; anything contrary to his wishes must be false, as any stereotypical king would assume. This is what causes Lear’s ultimate