Letter: Stealing a bad man's good name

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The Independent Online
Sir; In his letter of 1 April, Mark Pappenheim quoted these lines from Othello:

Who steals my purse steals trash ...

But he that filches from me my good name

Robs me of that which not enriches him

And makes me poor indeed

Mr Pappenheim wrongly attributes these lines to the Moor himself when, in fact, they are spoken by Iago. It is an important distinction, as this speech occurs at a key moment in the play: Iago is slowly moulding Othello's insecurity into paranoid and murderous jealousy. Iago is "an honest man" and Othello trusts him implicitly, thus setting in motion the tragic events of the rest of the play.

Yours faithfully,

DAVID JAMES

Wytham,

Oxfordshire

1 April

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