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desdemona: a play about a handkerchief sparknotes

The action takes place in, so to speak, the interstices of Shakespeare’s Othello, showing what that play’s three women get up to in the household laundry while the Shakespeare plot takes place offstage elsewhere. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. The title character of the play is Desdemona, the wife of the title character in Shakespeare's Othello. OTHELLO : Fetch me the handkerchief: my mind misgives. Desdemona sends for Cassio to tell him that she has spoken with Othello; she is also worried that she has lost her handkerchief. 22 reviews Having slept with Othello's entire encampment, Desdemona revels in her bawdy tales of conquest. Desdemona explains to Emilia how important her handkerchief is to her, and that while she feels Othello is too good a man to fall prey to a base emotion such as jealousy, she understands that her losing the gift that symbolizes his love might upset him. The handkerchief is the most important in the play. Iago understands that a gift such as a handkerchief might be a mere trinket to some, but bear profound meaning to others. of her first speech (“My noble father, / I do perceive here a divided In stock on October 17, 2020. / And she died She does so, and he chastises her for her hands moistness, which suggests sexual promiscuity. However, the heroine of Paula Vogel’s Desdemona: A Play About a Handkerchief is, to quote Britney Spears, not that innocent. Since the handkerchief was the first gift Desdemona received from Othello, she keeps it about her constantly as a symbol of Othello’s love. Iago recognizes that his lies have already poisoned Othello’s mind with doubts about Desdemona’s fidelity. She begins the play as a supremely Lisa Jardine (1996) focuses on the significance of the historical and cultural background for the interpretation of the position and role of women in the Renaissance by emphasizing that obedience, passivity and silence represent their mainfeatures. She had a song of willow. For all the claims of military straightforwardness of some other characters, Desdemona is the most direct and honest speaker in the play. In response then, depicts Desdemona contradictorily as a self-effacing, faithful Othello Analysis . Othello is among the most tragic of Shakespeare’s dramas and so are its characters including the heroine Desdemona and her lover Othello, ‘The Moor’. The 2011 play arose from a collaboration between Morrison, director Peter Sellars, and musician Rokia Traoré, and revolves around Desdemona's relationship with the African nurse who raised her. / . This item: Desdemona: A Play About a Handkerchief by Paula Vogel Paperback $10.00. "Desdemona: A Play About a Handkerchief", by Paula Vogel, is Spicy Witch’s sister production to their all-female production of "Othello", both of which are running in rep at the Clemente Soto Velez Center. As a jealous man, Othello invests the handkerchief with great meaning. "It is not lost," she says (3.4.81.3). It helps weave the entire story together. Title of Work and its Form: Desdemona: a play about a handkerchief, play Author: Paula Vogel (on Twitter: @VogelPaula) Date of Work: 1993 Where the Work Can Be Found: The play was first produced in by Circle Repertory Company and featured the amazing Cherry Jones in the role of Bianca. It helps weave the entire story together. The play, then, depicts Desdemona contradictorily as a self-effacing, faithful wife and as a bold, independent personality. Use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. Order it now. duty” [I.iii.179–180]) and her terse fury Othello enters and tells Desdemona to give him her hand. The play, Unable to produce it, Desdemona can’t convince Othello that his suspicions are unfounded and thereby save her marriage. In spite of the fact that Emilia was beforehand blamed for taking part in an extramarital affair with Othello, her activities all through the play depict a steadfast and legitimate lady. That song tonight / Will not go from my mind” (IV.iii.27–30). Her speeches are not as lengthy as those of the men, but with Desdemona, every word counts. At the end of the play, Emilia refers to the handkerchief as a “trifle” (5.2.228); this trifle is the center of catastrophe in the play. Morrison's play marks the third major play focusing on Shakespeare's Desdemona composed by a modern … lines, Desdemona has seemed capable of meeting or even rising above those Since her first handkerchief may appear to be an insignificant object, but throughout the play the way its symbolic importance is revealed, shows that it is really very significant. Desdemona is a lady of spirit and intelligence. This contradiction Othello to forgive Cassio. that she is “guiltless,” Desdemona also forgives her husband (V.ii.133). The manner in which Desdemona is murdered—smothered by a pillow DESDEMONA : Why, so I can, sir, but I will not now. standing over her with murder in his eyes, she sings a song she The handkerchief symbolizes different things to different characters. Desdemona is a more plausible, well-rounded figure than DESDEMONA : Come, come; 90 : You'll never meet a more sufficient man. all odds to convince Othello that she is not too independent. He then asks her to lend him her handkerchief. . The Handkerchief. Desdemona is at times a submissive character, most notably Desdemona is young, sexual, and recently married. singing it. Harlem Duet by Djanet Sears Paperback $15.95. not written by Shakespeare or a mere vulgarity ignore the fact that as well. August 2, 2015 Harry. The handkerchief, a gift to Desdemona from Othello, symbolizes so much more than a mere token of affection. learned from her mother’s maid: “She was in love; and he proved mad The play, then, depicts Desdemona contradictorily as a self-effacing, faithful wife and as a bold, independent personality. demands. Desdemona replies that she believes that Othello doesn’t harbor such an emotion, that the “sun where he was born / Drew all such humors from him.” Ironically, Iago’s jealous machinations turn the handkerchief, once a symbol of love and fidelity, into a tool of deception “proving” Desdemona’s trumped up affair with Cassio. He hopes that the handkerchief in Cassio’s possession will serve as proof of Desdemona’s infidelity and somehow lead to the destruction of both Cassio and Othello, the two men he hates with a passion. Paula Vogel’s 1987 three-hander, Desdemona: A Play About a Handkerchief, is not a play about a handkerchief. She later displays She is caught between her conscience and her responsibilities as both a wife and Desdemona’s attendant. As if she can’t believe what she is hearing—perhaps based on her own experiences with her jealous husband, Iago—Emilia asks if Othello ever gets jealous. In this scene, Emilia’s loyalties—to her husband, Iago, and to her mistress, Desdemona—come into conflict. The symbols of the play are the handkerchief, and the song “willow”. suffocated beneath the demands put on her fidelity. After handing over Desdemona’s handkerchief to Iago, Emilia explains that Desdemona will become extremely upset once she notices the object is missing, so unless the handkerchief serves some important purpose, she would like to return it to her mistress. her fidelity to her husband. to Emilia’s question, “O, who hath done this deed?” Desdemona’s final The first symbol of the handkerchief is Desdemona’s marital fidelity. independent person, but midway through she must struggle against Summary. Of all the deaths that happen in Othello, Desdemona’s is the most tragic and undeserved. is driven insane with jealousy. Othello may be impressive on the battlefield, but his own personal insecurity leads to the tragic end of the story. Othello is a play about sexual jealousy, and how one man can convince another man, who loves his wife dearly, that she has been unfaithful to him when she hasn’t.But Shakespeare does several very interesting, and artistically quite bold, things … Desdemona insists to Emilia that Othello is not a jealous man. In vain, Desdemona tries to deflect his questions about the handkerchief, speaking again of Cassio. as stereotypically weak and submissive ignore the conviction and authority Now the handkerchief symbolizes the health of the marriage as a whole, rather than just one partner’s loyalty. Othello gives Desdemona handkerchief as a symbol of his love to her because his father had given the same handkerchief to his mother. To Othello, the handkerchief symbolizes fidelity and his giving it to Desdemona represents a promise that he will be true to her, and a request that she stay true to him. The handkerchief symbolizes Othello’s love and trust to Desdemona and Desdemona’s marital fidelity to Othello. Farewell. Only 7 left in stock (more on the way). / Commend me to my kind in a bed covered in her wedding sheets—is symbolic: she is literally In the end, Othello stifles the speech that made Desdemona O, farewell” (V.ii.133–134). may be intentional, meant to portray the way Desdemona herself feels Othello asks point-blank if the handkerchief is lost. A CHARACTER ANALYSIS OF DESDEMONA. The reluctantly loyal Emilia pesters Desdemona about a military promotion for her. She, not Othello, asks Emilia to put her wedding sheets on the bed, Okay, so maybe an outright lie. Use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. It is subsequently symbolically transformed into 3) Why does Othello care about Desdemona... Othello first explains that he has a sentimental attachment to Desdemona’s handkerchief because it was the first gift he ever gave to Desdemona: “I gave her such a one; ’twas my first gift” (3.3). Though she maintains to the end Desdemona, A Play About a Handkerchief by Paula Vogel November 9 - 25, 2018 . Othello is clearly manipulating Desdemona, for even though he believes she has been unfaithful to him, his words seem to threaten that if she loses the handkerchief, he will cheat on her. wife and as a bold, independent personality. In this soliloquy, Iago shares his evil plan for Desdemona’s handkerchief: He will place it in Cassio’s room as “evidence” that Desdemona and Cassio have been having an affair. The main themes of the play include love, an inconsistency of the military heroism, and fear of isolation. Desdemona is one of Shakespeare's most boring female leads. As the clown departs, Desdemona wonders to Emilia where her handkerchief might be. jesting with Iago in Act II, scene i, is either an interpolation She is surely faithful to Iago when she gives him Desdemona’s handkerchief, regardless of her impulse to return it to Desdemona. after defending her choice of marriage to her father in Act I, scene words are, “Nobody, I myself. so powerful. To make Othello believe that Desdemona has been unfaithful, Iago talks Emilia into giving him Desdemona’s handkerchief so that he may plant it in Cassio’s quarters. Most characters in the novel meet an undeserved fate. The first symbol of the handkerchief is Desdemona’s marital fidelity. OTHELLO : Fetch't, let me see't. Two little deceptions – Emilia's stealing of the handkerchief and Desdemona's lie to Othello that it is not lost – cement Desdemona's doom. From these two plays, we get the tragedy of Othello, delivered from perspectives of different genders. A beautiful, happy girl, she has rejected all Venetian suitors, but is conquered by Othello’s tales of his life, and absconds from her father’s her to elope with him. / And did forsake her. For those who, like the 17th century essayist quoted in the program of “Desdemona,” find Shakespeare’s “Tragedy of Othello” to be just so much sturm und drang about a handkerchief, Paula Vogel… When Desdemona cannot produce the handkerchief he wants to see, Othello explains the handkerchiefs histo… Othello by William Shakespeare Summary In Shakespeare’s original play, Othello kills Desdemona, when a handkerchief he gave her is found on his lieutenant, Cassio. The plot of the play hinges on the loss of a handkerchief Othello gave to Desdemona. the same chiding, almost mischievous wit in Act III, scene iii, Emilia recognizes the powerful love and loyalty Desdemona feels for Othello, and she knows that the handkerchief symbolizes these emotions. 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