What did the handkerchief in Othello symbolize?

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 is symbolic about the handkerchief?

At its most sensual, the handkerchief was a symbol of either marital fidelity – handkerchiefs are still given at weddings for luck – or courtship, with embroidered messages and imagery being added to handkerchiefs between men and women in a sort of antediluvian form of sexting.

What does the handkerchief symbolize to Cassio?

The handkerchief, which once symbolized love and loyalty, now means betrayal. Iago brings Cassio to Desdemona, and they discuss Othello’s anger.

What does Bianca’s handkerchief symbolize?

Her jealous outburst over the handkerchief plays into the hands of the villain, and she stands accused of conspiracy. Bianca stands as a reminder of how women were treated in Elizabethan England.

What does the handkerchief symbolize to Emilia?

Emilia knows that the handkerchief was Othello’s first gift to Desdemona, and that she always keeps it with her, “To kiss and talk to” (3.3. 296). Perhaps this is the reason that Emilia hasn’t stolen the handkerchief, and even now she means to give it back to Desdemona.

What are the symbols in Othello?

William Shakespeare uses a strawberry embroidered handkerchief in the play Othello as a multifaceted symbolic item—a symbol of love, a symbol to showcase Desdemona’s role within her marriage, a symbol of Christianity, and a symbol of the loss of Othello’s culture and a return to perceived barbarism.

How is the dropping of the handkerchief ironic?

One could see the dropping of the handkerchief to be ironic because the napkin represents her love for him and when he says it is too little and lets it hit the ground, it shows that he is not trying to hold on to what little love is left.

How does the handkerchief serve as a plot device?

How does the handkerchief serve as a plot device in Act III? What role does sheer chance play to Iago’s use of the handkerchief to exact revenge? It was a gift from Othello’s mother & he gave it to Desdemona, she loses the handkerchief & Iago planted it in Cassio’s room. Othello states it has magically powers.

What does the handkerchief represent to Emilia?

Emilia recognizes the powerful love and loyalty Desdemona feels for Othello, and she knows that the handkerchief symbolizes these emotions. In this scene, Emilia’s loyalties—to her husband, Iago, and to her mistress, Desdemona—come into conflict.

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 are some symbols in Othello?

Symbols are central to understanding Othello as a play and identifying Shakespeare’s social and political commentary. The significance of red is love, red strawberries like red hearts on the love token handkerchief, and like the red stains from Othello and Desdemona’s first night of love on the marriage sheets.

What is the purpose of a handkerchief?

A handkerchief (/ˈhæŋkərtʃɪf/; also called a hankie or, historically, a handkercher) is a form of a kerchief or bandanna, typically a hemmed square of thin fabric which can be carried in the pocket or handbag, and which is intended for personal hygiene purposes such as wiping one’s hands or face, or blowing one’s nose.