Othello, By William Shakespeare Essay

1196 Words Dec 1st, 2015 null Page
In Othello by William Shakespeare, the handkerchief Othello gives his wife, Desdemona, serves as tangible evidence for Iago to convince Othello that Desdemona has been having an affair with Cassio. This seemingly simple token of Othello’s love for Desdemona creates a chain of events that draws all of the main characters together, in a way that further convinces Othello that Desdemona no longer loves him. Used by his mother to insure that his father remains faithful, Othello places great emphasis on the symbolic meaning of the handkerchief. This great emphasis makes it possible for Iago to manipulate the unplanned situations involving the handkerchief, highlighting his genius ability to manipulate, which serves as a motif throughout the play. Although it has a limited appearance in the novel, the strawberry embroidered handkerchief turns Othello’s suspicions of Cassio and Desdemona’s alleged affair into full blown hatred and represents, in Othello’s eyes, the loss of love and the birth of betrayal. Without the presence of the handkerchief, Iago does not have a physical, damning argument that will take his allegations over the top. After he tells Othello that he saw Cassio using the handkerchief, Othello renounces his love for Desdemona, saying “ All my fond love thus do I blow to heaven ‘tis gone” (3.3). Even though he questioned her love prior to this statement, this marks a full 360 degree turn in Othello’s feelings toward Desdemona. According to “The Problem of…

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