Facts we learn about Bianca during the play: She loves Cassio. Desdemona must die. Explain the role of the handkerchief in Othello. The planting of the handkerchief, which Othello dropped, in Cassio's room shows how jealousy produces the effect it fears. B.A. 8. Othello declares her handkerchief to be too little, and pushes it away from him. He feels he must act, and nearly kills Cassio. Now as Desdemona speaks about Cassio to Othello, Iago will be continually telling Othello lies of Desdemonas infidelity with Cassio. In the same scene, Othello returns and threatens Iago that if he does not present ocular proof about Desdemona's illicit affair, he will kill him. Already a member? Another way Iago convinces Othello of Desdemona’s infidelity is by obtaining the handkerchief to which he frames Cassio. Emilia speaks of irrational jealousy: "But jealous souls will not be answer'd so; / They are not ever jealous for the cause, / But jealous for they are jealous: @'tis a monster, begot upon itself, born on itself." What does Cassio do with Desdemona's handkerchief? Iago had advised Cassio to ask Desdemona to petition Othello to reconsider his decision. Snatching the handkerchief, Iago retains exclusive control over "directing" the unfolding jealousy of Othello. What happens to it? The handkerchief initially is a gift given to Desdemona by Othello as a love token. It is then that he relates its history. Othello superstitiously believes that the supposed charm has done its work. In vain, Desdemona tries to deflect his questions about the handkerchief, speaking again of Cassio. How is Othello a tragic hero in Shakespeare's Othello? When Othello confirms that it was his first gift to her, Iago says, in part: ...but such a handkerchief--I am sure it was your wife's--did I to-daySee Cassio wipe his beard with. What does Cassio do with the handkerchief he found? Desdemona's straightforward trust contrasts with Othello's sulky suspicion. Why? She denies ever giving the handkerchief to Cassio, saying Cassio probably found it after she dropped it. The details of how Cassio obtained the handkerchief are revealed, and Othello bewails the fact that he has been a "fool! Removing #book# Cassio had earlier been dismissed by Othello for his involvement in a fracas which had been plotted by Iago and Roderigo. What finally convinces Othello to kill Desdemona? Section 1: Desdemona, Emilia, and Cassio (up to the exit of Cassio); Why does Cassio Hurriedly exit? Emilia gives it to Iago, who decides to use the handkerchief for his own devices. Password. Log In To Your GradeSaver Account. ... handkerchief. In this scene, the handkerchief may represent Desdemona's desire to … When she gives Iago the napkin, he immediately plots what he is going to do with it. What does Othello's language in 35ff suggest about his state of mind? Iago and Othello arrive, and Cassio is fearful to speak with Othello and plead his case so soon after stabbing Montano in a drunken daze Iago and Othello arrive, and Cassio is worried Iago will trick others into believing he is wooing Desdemona under Othello's nose As the clown departs, Desdemona wonders to Emilia where her handkerchief might be. Emilia sees the handkerchief fall … The Handkerchief The object of Bianca’s jealousy is a handkerchief given to Desdemona by her husband Othello. bookmarked pages associated with this title. Othello does not believe her, and smothers her to death. The bond between them is reestablished, and he calls her by a pet name, chuck. His outburst provokes Emilia into asking whether he is not jealous. Desdemona's straightforward trust contrasts with Othello's sulky suspicion. He said Cassio had a dream where he cried out to Desdemona, and told him he saw Cassio with the handkerchief. A little later in the scene Cassio asks his prostitute girlfriend Bianca to copy a handkerchief which is -- unknown to him -- Desdemona's. eNotes.com will help you with any book or any question. He asks Othello about the napkin: Tell me but this,Have you not sometimes seen a handkerchiefSpotted with strawberries in your wife's hand? In particular, it takes a more roundabout look at jealousy. 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. Her mother was given it by her father, and so Desdemona gave it to Othello. What token is Emilia glad to get for Iago? Othello is convinced and has made up his mind. Othello walks out in fury. How does Iago tell Othello to kill Desdemona? The evidence before her own eyes backs up her assessment. (82) and tries to lead the conversation back to Cassio. Iago kneels with him and promises to offer his life in Othello's service. unhandsome warrior (152) unskilled soldier. The sly Iago has already arranged to meet with Cassio and will talk about Bianca, a girl Cassio has been seeing. I will in Cassio's lodging lose this napkin,And let him find it. He then says that if it should be the handkerchief, it would further confirm her guilt. Othello then said: I did so: and take heed on't;Make it a darling like your precious eye;To lose't or give't away were such perditionAs nothing else could match. He gives it to Iago to return to Desdemona. Bianca is already unhappy with Cassio because he hasn't been to see her in a week, and the sight of a woman's handkerchief gives her an attack of jealousy. When, Desdemona admits she doesn't have it at hand, Othello tells her that the handkerchief is magic, was given to his mother by an Egyptian sorceress, and that a woman who loses it will lose her husband. Iago does this by using people once again, this time … He gets caught returning it to Desdemona. Meanwhile Cassio and Bianca argue over a handkerchief Cassio found in his lodgings. If she should lose it, her husband would turn against her and his eye would wander. This set the scene for Iago to develop his pernicious plot, for when he and Othello saw them together, he suggested that their liaison was unbecoming. The situation is worsened when Bianca later enters and waves the handkerchief at Cassio, exclaiming that she was insulted by him daring to ask her to 'take out the work' on the napkin, when it clearly was a gift from another woman. The two exit, leaving Emilia alone in the room. He states his intention to plant it on Cassio. Log in here. To understand the handkerchief's importance in this regard, one also has to know its history as well as both its symbolic and sentimental value to our protagonist, Othello, general of the Venetian army. She does so, and he chastises her for her hands moistness, which suggests sexual promiscuity. Desdemona’s identity and sexuality become superimposed onto the handkerchief itself. answer choices . Desdemona notices that her husband seems unwell, and she tries to soothe him, offering to bind up his head with her handkerchief. What are some quotes that reveal Othellos low self esteem? By a great coincidence, Iago gets possession of the precious handkerchief accidentally dropped by the innocent Desdemona and manages to pass it into Cassio's possession. Are you sure you want to remove #bookConfirmation# We’ve discounted annual subscriptions by 50% for COVID-19 relief—Join Now! Cassio does not … Please explain the role of the handkerchief in Othello? Why does Cassio want a copy of the handkerchief? Cassio gives it … This contrasts with Othello's train of thought in the previous act, where, with less actual evidence before him, he changed his whole view of himself and his marriage. She gave him Desdemona’s handkerchief, he was going to plant it on Cassio to prove his story. Why does Cassio want to talk to Desdemona at the beginning of act 3? The dramatic irony is that the most jealous indignation is expressed over offenses that did not happen: Othello jealous about his wife; Bianca jealous about Cassio; Iago formerly jealous about Emilia. Cassio hands Bianca Desdemona's handkerchief, asking her to copy the pattern. It becomes, as critic James Hodgson affirms, “an emblem of her reputation”: a pseudonym for the wedding sheets from their marital bed, now allegedly soiled by an intruder. Who are the experts?Our certified Educators are real professors, teachers, and scholars who use their academic expertise to tackle your toughest questions. Why is it so important? Othello, choked up with jealousy, makes the excuse that he has a headache, and Desdemona tries to bind his head with her handkerchief, but Othello impatiently pushes it away. Bianca gets all worried that Cassio has a new woman who's given him this as a token of affection, but Cassio explains that he found the handkerchief in his bedroom (thanks to Iago, unbeknownst to Cassio). Click to see full answer Othello tells the story of the handkerchief: it is an heirloom in his family, given by an Egyptian witch to his mother as a charm to keep her husband's love. Bianca defends Cassio when he is stabbed by Roderigo and goes to look after him. What does Iago plan to do with this token? He recommends: Do it not with poison, strangle her in her bed, eventhe bed she hath contaminated. Plant the handkerchief in Cassio's room. Othello sees her with the handkerchief and believes this proves that Desdemona must have given it to Cassio. what does iago plan to do with the handkerchief and to what purpose. I do not think but Desdemonas honest. Lodovico vows to punish Iago and tells Othello that he must return with him to Venice. Discuss Emilia’s role in the play. from University of the Western Cape, South Africa, Top subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences. OTHELLO : Fetch me the handkerchief: my mind misgives. He then asks her to lend him her handkerchief. This irritated the general so much that he developed a headache. How is his language now much more like that of Iago than it was? fool!" (157-160). It is probably the most crucial evidence to prove Iago's claim that Desdemona and Cassio, Othello's lieutenant, are having an affair. 9. Othello acknowledges the sentence, but before he is led away, he speaks his final lines. Iago allows him to rant and rave. The charmer promised that the napkin would make her husband loyal and make her lovable. Sign up now, Latest answer posted May 25, 2012 at 7:02:38 PM, Latest answer posted February 03, 2012 at 3:30:53 AM, Latest answer posted February 11, 2012 at 6:02:15 AM, Latest answer posted June 23, 2011 at 10:33:09 PM, Latest answer posted February 11, 2012 at 4:55:29 AM. As they leave, Desdemona drops a handkerchief that was Othello’s first gift to her. Once he's alone, Iago plots to place the handkerchief in Cassio 's room, so that Cassio will find it. She attempts to change the subject and asks him about Cassio's appeal, but this just angers the general even more and he insists that she procure the handkerchief. Othello does not believe Iago. Desdemona and Emilia discuss possible reasons for Othello's bad mood and suspend judgment for lack of sure evidence. Cassio gives Bianca Desdemona's handkerchief, which he found in his lodgings (Iago had placed it there) and asks her to make a copy of it for him, as he will have to return the original when he finds the owner. What is the significance of the handkerchief as a symbol in Othello? Coming after the emotional intensity of the previous scene, this scene looks at some of the same themes from different viewpoints. Cassio. Email. Othello is enraged and promises to tear Desdemona to pieces. Othello sees the handkerchief and Iago later confirms that it is, indeed, his. Emilia picks it up, and Iago takes it from her as she leaves. What is Iago's plan and purpose in act 1, scene 3 of, What is the relationship between Iago and Roderigo in. He gives it to Bianca to make a copy of it because he loves the pattern. Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now. Our summaries and analyses are written by experts, and your questions are answered by real teachers. Answer Save. This shows Iago uses lots of opportunism to convince Othello of Desdemona’s infidelity. Emilia's view of jealousy as a natural characteristic of irrational men contrasts with Othello's real personal sufferings of the previous scene. He makes it appear as though Cassio and Desdemona are involved together, having an affair. Iago brings Cassio to Desdemona, and they discuss Othello's anger. Section 2: Iago, Othello, and Desdemona (up to the exit of Desdemona with Emilia); How odes Iago make use of Cassio's quick exit? CliffsNotes study guides are written by real teachers and professors, so no matter what you're studying, CliffsNotes can ease your homework headaches and help you score high on exams. Iago had advised Cassio to ask Desdemona to petition Othello to reconsider his decision. Iago had created suspicion in Othello's mind that Desdemona and Cassio were having an affair by using innuendo and subtle suggestion. What reason does Iago give for his hatred of Othello? Bianca accuses him of making her copy the embroidery of a love gift from some other woman, but Cassio tells her she is being silly. Bianca, recognizing a woman's handkerchief, jealously suspects that Cassio has a new love. This confection of far-fetched story elements seems to be believed implicitly by both Othello and Desdemona, who, under stress, ascribe wider powers and cosmic meaning to a handkerchief that, up until now, was simply a personal love token. Are you a teacher? Who is Bianca? Othello then tells her the story of the handkerchief. He then goes to Desdemona and says, “That handkerchief which I so loved and gave thee, / Thou gavest to Cassio” (5.2.48-49). 7. 4.1 . How does Iago plot to discredit Cassio in act 2, scene 3; How does Desdemona lose her handkerchief? Othello, of course, does not know this. When Othello recovers, he tells him to hide for he is going to indulge Cassio in conversation, and he will have him tell about his affair with Desdemona. He takes it directly to Othello and … 6. Othello then kneels and takes a sacred vow of vengeance. Othello demands her handkerchief, which she cannot produce. it gets into your blood. Desdemona has an underlying worry, the loss of the handkerchief, but Emilia, who does know what happened, does not tell her. Bianca immediately recognizes it as belonging to a woman and berates Cassio for having another mistress. DESDEMONA : I pray, talk me of Cassio. What is the role of the Duke in William Shakespeare's Othello. Whom do Iago and Othello see stealing away from the castle? They speak at cross-purposes, Othello claiming her moist hand indicates lust, she suggesting it means youth and innocence, and while making a speech on her need to curb her inclinations, the old happy love suddenly hits him again, and he acknowledges: "'tis a good hand, A frank one." She is glad about finding it and states: ...I'll have the work ta'en out,And give't Iago: what he will do with itHeaven knows, not I;I nothing but to please his fantasy. When Desdemona offered to wipe his brow with the napkin mentioned earlier, he pushed it away and it fell to the ground to be picked up later by Emilia, Iago's wife. (39). The handkerchief is a powerful metaphor within the play’s turning point. The Clown provides some contrasting comic relief, taking words only at face value, and this little diversion covers the plot move where Desdemona sends for Cassio. The handkerchief, a gift to Desdemona from Othello, symbolizes so much more than a mere token of affection. The general is overwhelmed by Desdemona and Cassio's perfidy and promises to chop her up into little pieces or poison her. In Act 3, Scene 3, Desdemona starts pestering Othello with requests about Cassio's reinstatement. Educators go through a rigorous application process, and every answer they submit is reviewed by our in-house editorial team. fool! Othello enters and tells Desdemona to give him her hand. DESDEMONA : Come, come; 90 : You'll never meet a more sufficient man. Each character attempts to cope as an individual, except Emilia, who has a theory that jealousy is a constituent part of masculinity. and any corresponding bookmarks? Later in the scene, Desdemona, accompanied by Emilia, comes to call Othello to dinner. The handkerchief plays a major role in the play. What does Cassio do with the handkerchief he found? © 2020 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The malicious ancient has convinced the general that he is wholly on his side. Cassio gives it to Bianca, a prostitute, and asks her to copy the strawberry embroidery of the handkerchief onto another one. He plans to plant it in Cassio's room to make it look like Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona. Why does Cassio pass the handkerchief to his lover, Bianca (sc. ©2021 eNotes.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Othello re-enters, and tells Iago that he now doubts his wife; Othello demands "ocular proof" of Desdemona's dishonesty, so Iago sets about making stories up about Cassio talking in his sleep, and says that Cassio has the handkerchief that Othello gave to Desdemona. OTHELLO : The handkerchief! In Scene 1 of Act 4, Iago so plays on Othello's suspicion and jealousy that the general falls into a fit, which pleases the vindictive ancient tremendously. He repeats "the handkerchief" over her words, working himself up into a fury, and storms off. … In her second scene of the play, Bianca’s jealousy escalates to rage, just as Iago’s insinuations about a romance between Desdemona and Cassio pique Othello’s jealous impulses. Othello has caught her out. He tells Desdemona in Act 3, Scene 4 about its history, stating that an Egyptian charmer had given the napkin to his mother. Othello's coming and he's embarrassed to be seen by him after he got fired. Desdemona sends for Cassio to tell him that she has spoken with Othello; she is also worried that she has lost her handkerchief. The handkerchief, which once symbolized love and loyalty, now means betrayal. Cassio gives Bianca Desdemona’s handkerchief, which he found in his lodgings (Iago had placed it there) and asks her to make a copy of it for him, as he will … Othello now thinks that Desdemona’s handkerchief has ended up with Cassio’s side mistress. Bianca enters and accuses Cassio of getting his handkerchief from another woman. (323). Pray you, let Cassio be received again. But the bond breaks when she mentions Cassio. from your Reading List will also remove any All rights reserved. Iago supports the general in everything he says and suggests that Othello not poison her. These lines echo Iago's "It is the green ey'd monster which doth mock that meat it feeds on" (III.3, 170-171), hinting that Iago and Emilia have talked or argued about jealousy in their own married life. When Othello enters, he claims a headache and asks her for a handkerchief to bind his head, but he will have only the embroidered strawberry handkerchief. Iago plants the handkerchief in Cassio's room so it appears that Cassio and Desdemona have been sleeping with one another. What pattern is the handkerchief decorated with? In Scene 4, Othello makes it a point to ask Desdemona for the napkin and she does not know where it is. dial (176) a full twelve hours on the face of a clock. When Desdemona cannot produce the handkerchief he wants to see, Othello explains the handkerchiefs histo… Desdemona is confident, or at least hopeful, that her husband is not jealous, while Emilia suspects that all men are jealous. The interview between Othello and Desdemona begins stiffly and formally: "Well, my good lady" (30), and she, taking her cue from him, answers formally. Iago promises him that he will kill Cassio. The handkercheif was a token of love. When Desdemona tries to bring up Cassio 's suit, Othello says he has a headache and asks for the handkerchief he gave her. Later in the play, he throws a tantrum because Desdemona does not know where the handkerchief is. OTHELLO : The handkerchief! All he has established is that she does not have it, but just the thought of the handkerchief is enough to madden him, torturing him now with the mental picture of Cassio wiping himself with it. Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore,Be sure of it; give me the ocular proof. 4, 170-175)? Bianca, recognizing a woman's handkerchief, jealously suspects that Cassio has a new love. Cassio gives Bianca Desdemona's handkerchief, which he found in his lodgings (Iago had placed it there) and asks her to make a copy of it for him, as he will have to return the original when he finds the owner. If the handkerchief were lost, the love would go. The scene has been set for tragedy to follow - Iago will have his revenge and innocents will die in the process. Desdemona is panicked into lying: "It is not lost, but what an if it were?" Meanwhile Cassio and Bianca argue over a handkerchief Cassio found in his lodgings. 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. Iago was to have Cassio killed, Othello would kill Desdemona, and Iago would be promoted. what does iago plan to do with the handkerchief and to what purpose. How does Iago go about providing the visual proof of Desdemona's infidelity that Othello had earlier asked for? His mother gave him the handkerchief on her deathbed and told him to give it to his wife if he should marry. The sly and manipulative Iago then plays his trump card. This is the next step Iago takes to further his plan. mummy (75) fluid drained from embalmed bodies. Desdemona orders the clown to find Cassio and bring him the message that she has made her suit to Othello. Othello listens to the entire conversation, believing that every reference to Bianca by the two men is about his wife. 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