Reputation In The Aeneid, Medea, And Othello

Good Essays
Is it possible for one to love and also maintain their reputation at the same time? Throughout The Aeneid, Lanval, Medea, and Othello this question is answered and it is evident that maintaining your reputation and also choosing love is impossible. One must choose between glory and love because they are not compatible. Glory and love are contradictory. If you choose love you lose your reputation, while on the other hand if you value your reputation more than anything you will not have love. The dilemma many characters face is whether one should desire glory or follow their heart. Either way they are loosing out on something, so they must choose wisely as their choice will determine how everything else will play out. Their fate is in their hands.…show more content…
When choosing love over reputation we see nothing but terrible endings. Another instance in which choosing love over glory ends disastrous is in Euripides’ Medea. Medea becomes so involved in her relationship with Jason that when he chooses to leave her she is left distraught and turns evil. She does not care about her reputation or what the people think of her. She comes up with an evil plan to get revenge on her husband. Medea comes up with a master plan that will leave her husband worse off in the end. However, her plan entails killing her husband’s new lover and her own children. Medea explains her situation by saying, “I’ve become an enemy to my own family, those whom I should love, and I have gone to war with those whom I had no reason at all to hurt, and all for your sake” (515-519). She chose to save Jason and betray her home and go off to Iolcus and do cruel things all for the love of her husband and in the end she was betrayed. By following her heart in the end she was left with nothing and had nothing to fall back on. At the same time Jason is choosing reputation over love. Even though Medea saved his life and sacrificed almost everything for him he still chose to break an oath that he had sworn too. He decided to marry into the royal family and marry into power leaving his wife and children behind. Jason while arguing with Medea states, “My motive was the best: so we’d live…show more content…
Glory seems to top love, and when it comes to ones’ self-image that is held very highly above all other things. Normally one should not be worried about their reputation and should be concerned more with following their heart. However it seems that more trouble comes into play when a character chooses to follow their heart rather than caring more about their reputation and honor. For example both Dido and Medea choose to follow their heart and neglect to care about their self-image. This makes a turn for the worse, and they are left without love. Both characters gave up everything to purse their love interest and in the end were left with nothing. When looking closely at those who chose glory over love we see they are the ones who clearly made out better. Lanval, Aeneas, and Jason all decided that their reputation was more valuable and therefore all three broke their promises to their loves, but they all seemed to prosper from their selfish choices. The characters that chose their glory over love made the better choice. This is because they did not have to give up anything too significant. Othello also chooses that his reputation is more important than love. He justifies the murder of Desdemona by saying he loves her but he had to do what was best and believed he should be honored for this vicious act
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