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The Handkerchief

  • Date Submitted: 12/04/2013 11:09 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 52.3 
  • Words: 848
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The handkerchief is significant in the plot of Othello, influencing and affecting multiple characters in the play. It is pivotal in the plot arguably being the final hit to Othello's dignity ultimately causing his inevitable downfall. The handkerchief can also be seen as the tool of destruction that Iago cruelly uses to initiate the final part of his evil plan.
The handkerchief represents many different things for many characters in the play. We see it represent to Othello his love of Desdemona being his first gift to her and later in the play representing his suspicion of Desdemona in regards to her fidelity. The handkerchief is hugely significant with Othello as we see him view it as true evidence of Desdemona’s affair with Cassio. He once saw it as a symbol of faith and love and with Desdemona losing it and in his thinking given it to Cassio, he sees it as an ultimate betrayal almost as in giving away her handkerchief she has given away her body to another man.
To Othello the handkerchief is hugely significant in being a link to his past, as it was given to him by his mother and he sees it as being magical and hundreds of years old and given to his mother by an Egyptian. He says it was woven by a 200 year old sibyl using silk from sacred worms and dye from the hearts of mummified virgins. This gives us the impression of the handkerchief being of the utmost important to Othello and being sacred. With Desdemona losing something he sees as so sacred it is again significant in showing us how Othello comes to killing Desdemona.
The handkerchief is hugely significant in the fact it could be argued that it was Iago's main tool of destruction, His ocular proof of Desdemona's unfaithfulness which Othello demands. The handkerchief reiterates how clever Iago is, In the fact that he thinks up a way of using it for his destructive plan immediately, But it also shows us again of how evil Iago is, And how with no remorse he can use a simple thing to completely destroy...


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