The True Meaning of the Handkerchief Essay

The True Meaning of the Handkerchief Essay

Length: 943 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Othello, the Moor of Venice is a drama that is solely built around many characters interpretation of symbolism. The handkerchief that is given to Desdemona from Othello plays a critical role in the play because of its symbolism. Along with the individual symbolism and significance of the handkerchief, it also plays a role in different interpretations made by many characters. The characters interpretation of the handkerchief in the drama plays a critical role in analyzing the meanings of the symbol. The handkerchief in the drama symbolizes many things to many different characters; Othello, Desdemona, and Iago have different interpretations on the meaning of the handkerchief, all of which are portrayed to the audience by Shakespeare.
The background of the handkerchief plays a critical role in analyzing the meaning of the symbol. In the drama, Othello describes the background of the handkerchief and how he received the handkerchief to the audience. In Othello’s description of the handkerchief, the audience learns that “there is magic in the web of it”, it being the handkerchief that he once received from his mother (3.4.65). Also, the audience is told that Othello’s mother received the handkerchief from an Egyptian gypsy who told her that if she kept it, it would “make her amiable and subdue my father Entirely to her love” (3.4.). However, if Othello’s mother was to lose the handkerchief or to make a gift of it, “my father’s eye Should hold her loathed and his spirits should hunt after new fancies” (3.4). From the description that Othello gave the audience, many can learn that the handkerchief was an important role in the family and that the woman who held it, or had possession of it, held it dearly. Othello’s mother held the handke...

... middle of paper ...

... a critical role in the drama. The interpretation of the symbolism of the handkerchief is the sole role in the drama Othello, the Moor of Venice, however, the handkerchief means and symbolizes something different for each main character in the play, Othello, Desdemona, and Iago.

Works Cited

Ardolino, Frank. "Pinter's “Betrayal” And Shakespeare's “Othello”." Explicator 65.1 (2006): 50-53. Humanities Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 22 Mar. 2014.
Doloff, Steven. "Shakespeare 'Othello.' (English Dramatist)." The Explicator 1 (1997): 12. Academic OneFile. Web. 29 Mar. 2014.
Mazzeno, Laurence W. "William Shakespeare." Magill’S Survey Of World Literature, Revised Edition (2009): 1-10. Literary Reference Center. Web. 31 Mar. 2014.
"Othello." Drama for Students. Ed. Anne Marie Hacht. Vol. 20. Detroit: Gale, 2005. 136-165. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 31 Mar. 2014.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Significance of the Handkerchief in Othello

- How can one small piece of fabric manifest so much havoc. In William Shakespeare’s Othello, there is great significance of a powerful symbol that completely alters the fate of the story. “In the case of the handkerchief, it stands for several things, things that cannot be seen” (Hacht 663). This symbol, the handkerchief, is given to Desdemona by Othello, as a token of his love, and to their new beginnings as husband and wife. However, the meaning of the handkerchief is viewed differently in various characters perspectives....   [tags: William Shakespeare, Othello Essays]

Better Essays
829 words (2.4 pages)

Desdemona’s Handkerchief in Othello Essay

- In Shakespeare’s play Othello, one of the main character’s Desdemona possesses the most essential symbol and object in the play, a handkerchief. The handkerchief appears in Act III of the play and is a particularly important part in the plot of the play. It helps weave the entire story together. The handkerchief symbolizes Othello’s love and trust to Desdemona and Desdemona’s marital fidelity to Othello. The first symbol of the handkerchief is Desdemona’s marital fidelity. In the play, Iago gives the only description of the handkerchief when he says to Othello, "Have you not sometimes seen a handkerchief / Spotted with strawberries in your wife's hand" (III.iii.434-435)....   [tags: Shakespeare, Character Analysis]

Better Essays
902 words (2.6 pages)

The Meaning of Love in Shakespeare's Othello Essay examples

- The Meaning of Love in Othello      The Bible says that 'all else is redundant without love', a most profound and relevant statement underlining the tragedy of Othello; in the absence of love, the Moor's fortunes plummet, so that he loses not only his respect and his posting but his life and that of his wife also. However, to truly understand the depth of this tragedy, it is essential to understand from where Othello, the protagonist, is coming before the arrival of his peripiteia, his falling out of love and into jealousy....   [tags: GCSE English Literature Coursework]

Better Essays
2265 words (6.5 pages)

Essay about Friendship And The True Meaning

- Philosophers have discuss and debate about friendship and the true meaning to be a friend to others Aristotle have given requirements as well as qualities a friend possession within different types of friendships. He debates that a good man does not need friends but the points he brings up proves that a good man can not live a pleasant life in solitary. Many believe this to be true based off of Aristotle points that a good man does not need friends as long as they are self sufficient and blessedly happy (63)....   [tags: Virtue, Meaning of life, Friendship]

Better Essays
1067 words (3 pages)

Essay on Love And The True Meaning Of Love

- Many people have different perspectives when it comes to the topic of love. The word love has been tossed around by everybody and not very many people really understand the true meaning of love. There are some exceptions, but I think this is especially true for teenagers and young adults. I might be one of those people who do not fully understand the topic of love, but I hope to better understand the topic of love and its true meaning is this course. First, you need to differentiate that love for someone and a love for something is completely different....   [tags: Love, Marriage, Meaning of life, Divorce]

Better Essays
833 words (2.4 pages)

Napoleon : The True Meaning Of Napoleon Essay

- Love. Such a word is not to strong to describe what Henri felt towards his general and emperor, Napoleon. Hate. Such a word accurately describes the feelings that were harbored by Villanelle towards the same man, her conqueror and oppressor. If one single man can produce such contrary feelings from two people, then what does that say about him. What then is the meaning of Napoleon. Through out the course of the novel, Napoleon plays different parts. Through the eyes of Henri he is both hero and villain, while the latter description is held most constantly by Villanelle....   [tags: Meaning of life, Love, Ben Daniels]

Better Essays
1508 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on The True Meaning Of Self Reliance

- The True Meaning of Self-Reliance. There are two men in a small town, one is a “do it yourself” type of man and the other is a “pay someone to do it for you man”. Many believe that the man who likes to care for his things, himself to be a more self-reliant man than the other man. Today, we will shall try to prove this theory either correct or incorrect and we will break down the meaning of self-reliance and try to figure what it is. We will search and see if being self-reliant means doing everything for yourself with no other help or is there a greater meaning to this broad term....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Meaning of life]

Better Essays
730 words (2.1 pages)

The Handkerchief Of Othello By William Shakespeare Essay

- The handkerchief in Othello, plays a significant role throughout the entire play affecting many characters in the story. For such a small item, it has a tremendous amount of value. Without the handkerchief, the main plot of the story would not be the same. The handkerchief is not the direct plot, but to be such a small object, it creates an extremely important detail. In the beginning of the play, the handkerchief is used mostly in a positive way and its definition to every character is positive....   [tags: Iago, Othello, Michael Cassio, Meaning of life]

Better Essays
1313 words (3.8 pages)

Essay about The True Meaning of Life

- There are thousands of enlightening pieces of literature to choose from, selecting one is a challenge. Many of these works are very important, but the novel Tuesdays with Morrie written by Mitch Albom is one work that everyone should study. However many students might miss out on the opportunity to read this book because of their school’s limited curriculum. This work is just as important to read as any Shakespearean piece. Even though this book is not yet considered a classic novel, it is still significant because it teaches readers about valuable lessons of friendship, demonstrates how to deal with difficult situations and understand the true meaning of life....   [tags: Literature Review]

Better Essays
708 words (2 pages)

Essay on The True Meaning of Religion

- The True Meaning of Religion "Religion" is the service and worship of God or the supernatural: a commitment or devotion to religion faith or observance defines the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. According to the Encarta World Dictionary, religion is people's beliefs and opinions concerning the existence, nature, and worship of a deity or deities and divine involvement in the universe and human life. The definitions of the word "religion" vary from dictionary to dictionary, country to country and from person to person....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
524 words (1.5 pages)