Othello Act 3 Scene 4
Act 3 scene 4 analysis This dissatisfied scene concentrates on Desdemona; she has actually become an innocent victim of Iago and Othello. From the moment he goes into, Othello handles the role of a persecutor. His very first words in line 30 “O Hardness to dissemble!” not just talk about what he thinks is Desdemona’s “false seeming” however likewise exposes how challenging it is to manage his feelings when he is in Desdemona’s existence. He continues to describe Desdemona’s hand as “hot” and “damp” in line 32. This is an allusion to a belief in the time, that when someone’s hand was “hot” and “wet” they were of a lustful nature.
At this moment Desdemona is astonished by Othello and makes the grave error of trying to alter the path of their discussion by pressing Othello about Cassio. Othello responds to the reference of Cassio by setting a trap for Desdemona, mentioning in line 46 “I have a salt and sorry rheum angers me/lend me thy scarf”. Upon Desdemona’s failure to provide him the strawberry printed scarf, Othello goes into a rage, informing Desdemona of the significance of the handkerchief which she should not have lost it. The scarf is an incredibly essential symbol in the play.
This scarf that an “Egyptian charmer to my mother provide “represents Othello’s mysterious and unique heritage. More notably in this scene, Othello exposes that the scarf symbolises his love for Desdemona and Desdemona’s chastity. His belief that she has actually offered it away implies the break in their love, the giving away of her body. The dramatic irony is that although the handkerchief is lost, Desdemona still enjoys Othello. The theme of look vs. reality is clear in the scene, for although Desdemona seems covering for her sins when in reality she is entirely pure and blameless.
Othello’s claim that “there’s magic in the web of” the scarf (line 65), reestablishes the theme of magic. This can be contrasted to Act 1, when Othello claimed ignorance and disregard for magic when Brabantio implicated him of witchcraft. In this scene he takes the opposite position; although the handkerchief does not embody magic, it has a magic, a hang on Othello. He thinks busily that the loss of the scarf represents Desdemona’s betrayal and seems to be captivated by the token.
Later on he is seen repeating the line “The scarf” three times in an uncontrolled fury. The innocent Desdemona is fearful of its loss weeps out “Then would to God that I had actually never seen it” in line 73. Frightened by his rash words, Desdemona lies about the handkerchief and states “It is not lost, however what and if it were?” in line 79. This is unfortunately consequential and makes the audience question that if she had actually told the reality there might have been hope in averting this catastrophe. Othello leaves at the end of the scene enraged, exclaiming “Zounds! “