Digital Me Discussion Questions
Reflect on the following quote:
Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands:
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him
And makes me poor indeed.
— Speech by Iago, from Othello III.iii (by William Shakespeare)
In Digital Me, Sara’s reputation (or “good name,” to use Shakespeare’s term) is taken from her. Has your “good name” ever been taken from you? How did you feel? How could you have prevented it from being taken (if at all)? Have you ever stolen someone else’s “good name”? How did it make you feel to do that? What effect did it have on the other person? Why did you do it?
Reflect on the following excerpt from Chapter 18 of Digital Me:
“And think back to Shakespeare’s Othello, Sara. Remembered how Iago made up those stories, those lies about Desdemona, and whispered them into Othello’s ear? How did Othello respond to that?”
“Well,” she said as she ran through the play in her mind, “I guess he pretty much believed everything Iago told him. Like, totally believed the stories, the lies, that Iago made up just to mess with him. And he began to see his own wife in a totally different way.”
“Funny how the things we hear or see, the things that are told or shown to us, no matter how much they differ from what our past experiences tell us, can have such a powerful influence on our own thoughts, our own perceptions of other people.”
Sara was quicker to catch on to where he was leading this time. “Like the photos.”
“The fake photos,” Mr. Matthews corrected her this time. “They’re the lies that your Iago is whispering into the ears of everyone who sees them.”
Mr. Matthews swivelled in his chair to face the window closest to his desk, staring out of it into the blue sky beyond. “And so far, everyone is believing your Iago’s lies.”
For a moment — neither of them could say for how long — both Sara and Mr. Matthews were lost in thought.
One question kept nagging at Sara, a question she desperately needed to answer. “Mr. Matthews,” Sara’s voice cut into the silence that surrounded them. “One question, one big question, is still unanswered.”
“And that is?”
“Who is my Iago?”
What “Iagos” do you have in your life? Have you ever played the role of “Iago” to someone else?
Digital Me Teacher Materials
Digital Me Additional Resources
Othello, the Moore of Venice, by William Shakespeare [Full text]
Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology, by Neil Postman [Wikipedia]