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Othello - Act 3 Scene 4. In what ways does this dialogue develop your responseto Othello in the play as a whole?

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Introduction

Act 3 Scene 4. In what ways does this dialogue develop your response to Othello in the play as a whole? Following this mingled conversation in which Desdemona playfully reverses Othello's insinuating diagnosis; Desdemona informs her husband that she has sent for Cassio to speak to Othello. However Othello ignores this piece of information and claiming a cold in the head, asks for her handkerchief. Desdemona expresses regret that she does not have it with her. Othello reproves her for not having and then gives an account of why the handkerchief is so important. Since the handkerchief plays so important a part in the plot machinery of the play, the description of it is as follows " That handkerchief Did an Egyptian to my mother give. ...read more.

Middle

To lose't or give't away were such perdition As nothing else could match." The handkerchief was the Moors fist gift to Desdemona. Emilia refers to it as "that the Moor first gave to Desdemona" and Othello tells Iago "twas my first gift". If this gift was given during the courtship and is truly a magic handkerchief, then Othello did use magic to win Desdemona, and he lied to the Dukes Court. However if the courtship was conducted without magic as Othello told the court, he may be lying now, the handkerchief may not have these properties. Othello maybe inventing the tale to test or frighten Desdemona. On the other hand, the handkerchief may have been the first gift after marriage, not having been given before. ...read more.

Conclusion

By providing it with a history, Shakespeare emphasizes the significance of the handkerchief and prevents it from becoming a trivial prop. The handkerchief is symbolic of constancy in love, one of the important themes of the play. By losing the handkerchief Desdemona symbolically loses Othello's love. Thus the handkerchief becomes more than a cog in the machinery of melodrama. Repeatedly Othello insists on seeing the handkerchief, while Desdemona answers each of his demands with a plea for Cassio. Once more Othello becomes enraged when his demands are refused. This time his anger is far more ominous, for he utters no threats. During his earlier inquiries into Cassio's misconduct and Iago's suspicions, he relied on Iago's word. He will return to Iago again and believe what he is told, for Othello must have promo answers for his question. Othello leaves in a rage. Ifrah Naz ...read more.

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