Handkerchief In Othello

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In Othello by William Shakespeare, the handkerchief serves as tangible evidence for Iago to convince Othello that Desdemona has been having an affair with Cassio. Although it had 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” (3.3.455-456). According to The Problem of Inartificial Proof: Othello Peers into Bacon’s Universe by John Channing Briggs, the handkerchief essentially serves as “inartificial proof”, proving that Iago’s allegations are true.…show more content…
It gets pushed out of Desdemona’s hand, by Othello in an attempt to dismiss her, when she tries to comfort him. She nor Othello notices because Desdemona is more concerned with the love of her life’s well being and Othello “is already obsessed with his imagination of Desdemona’s infidelity” (Briggs). When everyone leaves the room, Emilia finds it and tells her husband. Acts of fate dictated who held the handkerchief next, drawing “the six characters it touches--Othello, Desdemona, Emilia, Iago, Cassio, Bianca--into its own repetitive
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