Why does Emilia not tell Desdemona about the handkerchief? (2024)

Why does Emilia not tell Desdemona about the handkerchief?

Emilia knows that Iago has the handkerchief, but she probably assumes that Iago will eventually return it. We know that the handkerchief is evidence in Iago's case against Desdemona, but the women know nothing about that, and Emilia doesn't mean any harm to Desdemona.

What is the effect of Emilia's silence about the handkerchief?

She asserts that when Emilia steals the handkerchief she acts in accord with the “wifely virtues of silence, obedience, and prudence” (Neely 1993:131), and that when she gives it to Iago, she is “thereby making herself subservient to him and placing her loyalty to her husband above affection for Desdemona.

How does Emilia respond to the news of the lost handkerchief?

Emilia seems to become loyal to her husband in a way she hasn't been in the past: she decides to give Iago the handkerchief after having denied his request “a hundred times,” and she lies to Desdemona about not knowing the handkerchief's whereabouts.

What does Emilia do with the handkerchief?

She tries to use the handkerchief on his head, but he brushed it away, knocking it to the ground. Emilia, Iago's wife, picks it up and gives it to Iago who had been asking her to steal it for some time.

What does Emilia say when Desdemona asks her about the handkerchief?

Emilia says that she doesn't know where the handkerchief is. This is a lie. Emilia knows that Iago has the handkerchief, but she probably assumes that Iago will eventually return it.

What does Emilia tell Desdemona?

However, as the action progresses, Emilia reveals a sharp-eyed and self-aware perspective on how women are often vulnerable to abuse at the hands of their husbands. She tells Desdemona that “they eat us hungerly, and when they are full / They belch us” (3.4.)

What role did the handkerchief play in bringing about Desdemona's ruin answer?

Lago decides that he will place the handkerchief in Cassio's room as “evidence” that Desdemona and Cassio have been having an affair. So in this way, The handkerchief plays the role of bringing about Desdemona's ruins as this is used as proof to show her infidelity even though she was true to her husband.

What does the handkerchief symbolize?

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.

Who kills Emilia in Othello?

When Emilia discloses the truth about the handkerchief, Othello tries, unsuccessfully, to kill Iago, and Iago kills Emilia. Othello, aware of his enormous error in regarding Desdemona as unfaithful, stabs himself, falling dead on the bed beside Emilia and Desdemona.

How does Emilia react to Desdemona's inadvertently dropped handkerchief?

What does Emilia do with the handkerchief? What does Iago plan to do with it? Desdemona accidentally drops it after Othello declines her offer. Emilia finds the handkerchief and keeps it for she remembers that Iago has been asking her for the handkerchief.

Who killed Roderigo?

In Act Five, Scene One, Roderigo is wounded in his botched assassination attempt of Cassio: he becomes the first to realise Iago's true plans. He is then fatally stabbed by Iago, cursing him before his departure.

What does Emilia reveal?

In a play filled with lies, deceits, and misinterpretations of reality, Emilia reveals the truth about Desdemona's innocence. Even though Emilia is a woman from a lower social class, these words have meaning. They bring down powerful men and resolve the play's main conflicts.

How does Emilia betray Desdemona?

Emilia's one dishonest act towards Desdemona—stealing her special handkerchief—turns out to have devastating consequences. The loss of the handkerchief is what convinces Othello that Desdemona is guilty of infidelity, and Emilia's little theft ends up causing her friend's death (at least in part).

What is Emilia's role in the tragic end of Desdemona?

Emilia is Iago's wife, and Desdemona's maid, a woman of practical intelligence and emotional resilience. She follows Iago in wifely duty, but during the play develops a strong loyalty to Desdemona and, at the end, denounces Iago's lies to defend Desdemona's reputation.

When did Emilia take Desdemona's handkerchief?

When Desdemona enters and Othello complains of an aching head, Desdemona offers to bind his head with her handkerchief. As they exit, the handkerchief drops unnoticed by either of them. Emilia picks it up and gives it to Iago, who has often asked for it.

How does Desdemona lie about the handkerchief?

Desdemona is panicked into lying: "It is not lost, but what an if it were?" (82) and tries to lead the conversation back to Cassio. Othello has caught her out. He repeats "the handkerchief" over her words, working himself up into a fury, and storms off.

Is Emilia in love with Desdemona?

Desdemona and Emilia turn to each other for companionship and comfort, and discover an equal in intelligence, virtue, loyalty, and generosity. As the play progresses, the bond between Desdemona and Emilia is strengthened by shared experiences of abuse and increasing fear of male violence.

Is Emilia loyal to Desdemona?

Ultimately, Emilia's betrayal of Desdemona is a tragic consequence of Iago's manipulation and deceit. She is a complex character who is torn between her loyalty to her husband and her love for her friend, and her actions ultimately contribute to the tragic ending of the play.

What does Desdemona tell Emilia before she dies?

Desdemona says that she is innocent, denies that anyone has killed her, and dies. Emilia and Othello confront each other. Emilia sees herself as a witness and will tell what she has seen, and Othello declares that he has killed Desdemona because of her infidelity.

Is Cassio in love with Desdemona?

Cassio is loyal to Othello and is a great admirer of Desdemona. He is very friendly towards her and Iago uses this to convince Othello they are having an affair. Cassio is in a relationship with a woman called Bianca. She loves him but he does not seem as interested in her.

Why is the lost handkerchief so important to Desdemona?

“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 the tragedy of the handkerchief?

In this video from Shakespeare Uncovered, learn about how a small piece of cloth-a handkerchief-sets the tragedy of Othello in motion. Through lies, deceit and backchannels, Iago implicates Desdemona in an adulterous affair by stealing her handkerchief and planting it with Othello's friend Cassio.

How did handkerchief get its name?

Formal use of the word “handkerchief” evolved in 14th century France among the wealthy class as a fashion accessory. The term comes from the French words couvrir-chef meaning “to cover” and “head.” The English democratized the handkerchief, making it available to every socio-economic class.

What do you call a woman's handkerchief?

A hanky is a woman's best friend. Historically known as a handkercher or kerchief, it helps to wipe those unavoidable wedding tears, blow a persistent runny nose or even save the planet (think landfills). Every woman can rely on a good handkerchief during times of love and sorrow.

What is the myth about handkerchief?

There are certain superstitions concerning handkerchiefs. One such is that if you give a handkerchief or a box of handkerchiefs to your lover, your romantic relationship will end in disaster. This is because handkerchiefs are used to wipe tears!

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