How is the handkerchief in Othello significant

The handkerchief, a gift to Desdemona from Othello, symbolizes so much more than a mere token of affection. To Othello, the handkerchief symbolizes fidelity and his giving it to Desdemona represents a promise that he will be true to her, and a request that she stay true to him.


What is the significance of the handkerchief in Othello?

The handkerchief initially is a gift given to Desdemona by Othello as a love token. It is subsequently symbolically transformed into Desdemona’s bedsheets, which she uses to reveal her true innocence and fidelity to Othello; and finally, Desdemona requests that the bedsheets be used to cover her as a death shroud.

What does giving a handkerchief mean?

Hankies. Some gift-giving superstitions are quite literal—giving a handkerchief is said to signify tears to come. In Sweden, a man is never supposed to give his lover a silk handkerchief, or she will wipe away her affection for him. Soap is also supposed to be an unlucky gift, as it will wash your friendship away.

Why is the handkerchief so important to Othello quizlet?

Terms in this set (5) Because Othello gave it to Desdemona as a first gift, the handkerchief functions as a token of his love, which Desdemona cherishes (3.3. 1). The handkerchief symbolizes Desdemona’s fidelity. When it shows up in Cassio’s possession, Othello is convinced that Desdemona is unfaithful.

How does the handkerchief function in Act 4?

In Act IV, the handkerchief falls to the ground and Iago picks it up; this is showing that love is lost and that now Iago is in control of manipulating Othello’s feelings. Why is the handkerchief so important to Othello? The handkerchief represents Othello’s love for Desdemona.

What is the effect of Emilias silence about the handkerchief?

She asserts that when Emilia steals the handkerchief she acts in accord with the “wifely virtues of silence, obedience, and prudence” (Neely 1993:131), and that when she gives it to Iago, she is “thereby making herself subservient to him and placing her loyalty to her husband above affection for Desdemona.

What is so special about the handkerchief Desdemona drops?

What is so special about the handkerchief Desdemona drops? It was a gift from Othello that he received from an Egyptian woman. What happens to Desdemona’s handkerchief after she drops it? Emilia takes it because Iago has been begging her to steal it.

Who made the handkerchief in Othello?

He tells Desdemona that it was woven by a 200 -year-old sibyl, or female prophet, using silk from sacred worms and dye extracted from the hearts of mummified virgins. Othello claims that his mother used it to keep his father faithful to her, so, to him, the handkerchief represents marital fidelity.

Which of the following is the most important symbol in the play Othello?

However, at some point in the play, the symbol of love becomes proof of Desdemona’s infidelity. It becomes the essence of the Shakespearean tragedy. Some critics even say that the handkerchief in Othello is the most dominant symbol in the entire play.

Why do girls drop handkerchief?

Back in the Victorian era, there were all sorts of subtle little ways young ladies used to communicate to young gentlemen, in social situations where it would have been improper to speak to them directly. Dropping a handkerchief or glove was one of them.

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When did people start using handkerchiefs?

Handkerchiefs show up in world history as early as the first century BC, when they were mentioned by the poet Catullus and used for utilitarian purposes, such as wiping one’s brow or general-purpose cleaning. They would not become fashion accessories until at least the 17th century.

Who has the handkerchief at the end of the act Why is this important?

Who had the handkerchief at the end of Act III? Why? Cassio gave it to Bianca, his prostitute friend, for her to take out the design.

What do you believe is the symbolism associated with the handkerchief?

The handkerchief, a gift to Desdemona from Othello, symbolizes so much more than a mere token of affection. To Othello, the handkerchief symbolizes fidelity and his giving it to Desdemona represents a promise that he will be true to her, and a request that she stay true to him.

How is the dropping of the handkerchief ironic?

He convinces him that Desdemona could never love him. How is the dropping of the handkerchief ironic? The handkerchief represents their love, and in dropping it, the love is gone. … – He may be trying to catch Desdemona in a lie.

Why does Desdemona lie about the handkerchief?

As Desdemona hands him a normal handkerchief, Othello asks her where her special handkerchief is. Desdemona simply says she doesn’t have it with her, likely because she doesn’t want to upset him by saying that it’s lost.

How do Bianca and the handkerchief affect the plot and contribute to the meaning of the play?

Bianca is a woman of ill-repute (a prostitute); so when Othello sees her with the handkerchief not only does it give credence to Iago’s affair theory, but it also angers him to think that his prized possession was worth no more to his wife than for her to give it to a man who would in turn bestow it upon a prostitute.

When did Othello give Desdemona the handkerchief?

As long as Othello’s mother kept it, she would keep the love of her husband, but that “if she lost it / Or made gift of it, my father’s eye / Should hold her loathed” (3.4. 60-62). When she was dying, Othello’s mother gave him the handkerchief and told him to give it to his wife when he married.

Why does Emilia lie about the handkerchief?

Emilia seems to become loyal to her husband in a way she hasn’t been in the past: she decides to give Iago the handkerchief after having denied his request “a hundred times,” and she lies to Desdemona about not knowing the handkerchief’s whereabouts.

What does the handkerchief represent to Emilia to Iago to Bianca?

The handkerchief, which once symbolized love and loyalty, now means betrayal.

What color is the handkerchief in Othello?

The white handkerchief orients reader interest toward Desdemona, Othello’s Venetian (and white) wife. The black handkerchief reaffirms the play’s interest in the character Othello while forcing readers to question the implications of this alternate reading.

How does Iago use the handkerchief to condemn Desdemona?

How does Iago use the handkerchief to condemn Desdemona? he tells Othello that she gave it to Casio. … Iago makes Cassio’s statements about Bianca seem like that address Desdemona.

What is the meaning of white handkerchief?

From the late 18th century white handkerchiefs were waved, generally by women (men usually waved their hats), to demonstrate approval at public events such as processions or political rallies.

What pattern is embroidered on the handkerchief *?

ABWhat pattern is embroidered on the handkerchief?strawberriesHow is the Turkish fleet thwarted?by a stormWhat rank does Cassio hold before Othello strips it from him?LieutenantHow old is Iago?28

Can we Gift hanky?

It is believed that gifting a handkerchief will bring bad luck. As per beliefs, it has something to do with inviting sobbing. Thai believe that handkerchief is used for wiping tears, so someone who receives a handkerchief as a gift will lose their tears. If you don’t want your beloved to cry, avoid giving this item.

What must have happened to the handkerchief?

Textbook solution The handkerchief which flew away from the clutches of the clothesline might have fallen into the ditch or drowned in the sea, as assumed by the poet. … The handkerchief might have been buried in the soil to form manure for the plants.

What does the letter Lodovico brings to Othello?

Saying, “God save you, worthy general!“(4.1. 216), Lodovico greets Othello and hands him the letters. … He mentions that Othello has been called home to Venice and that Cassio has been appointed governor of Cyprus.

Where does the handkerchief move to from in Act IV?

In Act 4, the handkerchief reappears in the hands of Bianca, Cassio’s mistress. Cassio had found the handkerchief in his room and given it to Bianca to copy the work. Bianca, thinking it the token of another mistress, gives it back to Cassio. This scene in enacted while Othello is eavesdropping.

How would you describe the relationship between Desdemona and Othello?

Even when called a “whore,” she remains loyal to him and resolves to love him despite his misunderstanding of her. As Othello mistreats her, Desdemona’s feelings are unwaning: “My love doth so approve him / That even his stubbornness, his checks, his frowns,” (Act Four, Scene Three).

What does Desdemona symbolize in Othello?

Desdemona was the faithful wife of Othello in Shakespeare’s play. She was kindhearted and wished for all to be well with the male characters, and it is her sympathy towards Cassio which made Iago’s lies more credible. It is her naïve nature that made her an easy target for the antagonist in the play.

What is ironic about the handkerchief in Othello?

Othello believes that Desdemona gave the handkerchief to Cassio when he actually is the one who pushes the handkerchief out of her hands as she is trying to soothe him. … This is another example of situational irony in which the cool, rational Othello becomes superstitious and accusatory.

What is the irony in Othello?

Dramatic Irony in Othello Dramatic irony is when the audience knows more about what is happening in the story than the characters. A main example of dramatic irony from Othello is the plot to destroy Othello’s life. The only character who knows about this is Iago.