How does Shakespeare use representations of speech and other dramatic techniques to explore the theme of trust in the following extract, and in other episode elsewhere in "Othello"?

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How does Shakespeare use representations of speech and other dramatic techniques to explore the theme of trust in the following extract, and in other episode elsewhere in the play?

Act 3, Scene 4 of the play ‘Othello’, Desdemona persists in the recommendation of Cassio, but Othello is obsessed with the handkerchief. This extract concerns both Othello and Desdemona; we as the audience hear their conversation regarding the handkerchief. The mood is tense, as both the characters and audience are waiting for Desdemona to tell the truth about the handkerchief, and the way Shakespeare includes a casual conversation between these characters adds to the suspense that is building up. The tone set it uneasy as just before this scene, Iago has manipulated Othello into believing Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio, and so the audience feel uneasy of what is going to happened next. The theme of trust is shown in this passage, through Desdemona lying to her husband and Othello not trusting her in which Shakespeare shows using a variety of techniques of speech and imagery in this extract to explore the trust in the relationships.  In Act 4, Scene 1, Iago continues to prompt Othello’s jealousy and Othello overhears Iago teasing Cassio about Bianca – whom Othello assumes to be Desdemona. The theme of trust is explored through Othello’s and Iago’s relationship which is conveyed through similarities and contrasts in this extract.

The extract begins with an interrogative asked by Desdemona: “is’t possible?” reflecting her confusion and weakness to which Othello replies with a long, and fragmented speech. The handkerchief has a long, past history with religious and magical imagery: “there’s magic in the web of it. A sibyl, that had numbered in the world… in her prophetic fury sewed the work: the worms were hallowed that did breed the silk”. The handkerchief was sewed by a sacred figure through the use of the noun “sibyl”, and using material from the adjective “hallowed” worms to make the silk. The handkerchief seems to possess almost magical properties for Othello by use of the noun “magic” emphasising the handkerchief’s importance and power. The word “web” links the handkerchief to Iago’s plan of convincing Othello’s of Desdemona’s infidelity. The long, fragmented sentences in his speech convey the mistrust between Desdemona; he believes she is unfaithful and so he is concerned and his language starts to deteriorate. Similarly, in Act 4, Scene 1, we see his language deteriorating, and his weakness is shown through the interrogatives asked to Iago: “How shall I murder him Iago?”, the use of the proper noun “Iago” shows that he is expected to know how to kill Cassio, and so Othello is trusting Iago to know the answer. The use of the interrogatives asked, show Othello losing his position as a governor in this scene, he also loses his air of authority as asking questions to Iago shows his weakness. Iago knows that it is fine for him to think this way about Cassio but he also needs to steer Othello's anger toward Desdemona.

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Desdemona realises that something has come between herself and Othello, and questions: “why do you speak so startlingly and rash?” His tone is tinged with bitterness, and very biting at time. The use of the sibilance “speak so startlingly” makes Desdemona realise that Othello has changed and his behaviour towards her is different. Othello’s replies with a triad of interrogatives: “is’t lost? Is’t gone?” highlights the mistrust in the relationship, with the monosyllabic words “lost” and “gone” and utterance “ha!” shows he does not believe Desdemona. Both of them try and block each other breaking adjacency pairs by not answering ...

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