Themes and Symbols in Othello

Handkerchief Shows that small thing can carry a lot of weight in terms of jealousy, dyed with virgin blood, Othello’s father gave it to his mother saying that the dad wouldn’t be unfaithful as long as the woman had itOthello gave it to Desdemona- symbol of being faithful to significant other – added to Othello’s’ belief of the affair- symbolizes Othello’s unusual past with witchcraft- white: purity, chastity- D uses it to dry eyes when she cries
Willow Song – mom’s maid sang it and then the maid died- lover/husband went crazy and killed her- Desdemona sings it before anything happens with Othello- represents foreshadowing- Willow= weeping willow, crying, tragedy
The Dangers of Isolation Shown when Brabantio is isolated after Desdemona marries Othello, Othello isolates Cassio when he fires him for being drunk, Othello isolates himself from Desdemona when he hears of the affair, Lodovico bring snews from venice because Cyprus is isolated,
Good vs. Evil Desdemona is good and Iago being evil causes her to lose her husband and life
Appearance vs. Reality Iago pretends to like Othello to hi face but is telling him lies, Othello acts confident but has many insecurities, Iago tries to show Othello his wife is in love with Cassio by making up schemes but in realoty they arent true,
Honor and Reputation Cassio is worried that after he is fired he will lose his reputation, Iago believes reputation is not important to your honor, Desdmeona loses her reputation to her husband, Othello has a reputation of being powerful in his job
Womanhood and Sexuality Desdemona is given away from her father to Othello. He gets very mad when he thinks she had an affair and doesnt believe that it is a lie. Emilia will do whatever to make her husband happy and gets into his scheme which he ends up killing her.

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