I will in Cassio’s lodging lose this napkin,
And let him find it. Trifles light as air
Are to the jealous confirmations strong
As proofs of holy writ: this may do something.
The Moor already changes with my poison:
Dangerous conceits are, in their natures, poisons.
Which at the first are scarce found to distaste,
But with a little act upon the blood.
Burn like the mines of Sulphur. I did say so:
Look, where he comes!
I will hide this napkin in Cassio’s house
And let him find it. To a jealous man, a thing like this
Is proof that Desdemona cheated. This napkin may help me
Othello’s mind has already been affected
With evil thoughts from my suggestion
Ideas can be like poison
At first it doesn’t taste so bad
But once they get in your blood
they could burn like lava.
Iago is planning to hide the handkerchief in Cassio’s house. The handkerchief is so important because it was a gift from Othello to his wife Desdemona. The handkerchief was given down from his parents and is important to him. Iago believes that if Othello finds the handkerchief in Cassio’s house it will prove that Desdemona is cheating. Othello will soon become jealous, “are to the jealous confirmations strong” (3.3.370), and will soon become angry with his wife and Cassio. Iago uses a metaphor describing how Othello thoughts could be seen as poisonous. At first he has a strong heart, and won’t feel jealous about situations such as Cassio and Desdemona hanging out but with time, Othello will soon get angry, and he will start feeling a pain he has never felt before.
Soft you; a word or two before you go.
I have done the state some service, and they know’t.
No more of that. I pray you, in your letters,
When you shall these unlucky deeds relate,
Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate,
Nor set down aught in malice: then must you speak
Of one that loved not wisely but too well;
Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought
Perplex’d in the extreme.
Hey you, I need to talk to you before you leave
I have help the state, and they know the good I’ve done
But enough about that. Describe your letter
When you record these sad events,
Please describe me as I am, nothing less serious or more forgivable
Don’t tone things down or exaggerate them out of hostility
I loved but I was not wise about it
I was easily made jealous
I work myself into a frenzy
Othello has decided to kill Desdemona because Othello thinks she has been disloyal. Iago has been telling Othello that Desdemona has been cheating on Othello with Cassio. Iago was able to prove it with the handkerchief that Othello gave to Desdemona. Othello was able to find the handkerchief in Cassio’s house which he assume that Desdemona was cheating. Soon after desdemona death, Othello was able to find out the truth and was sorry. Othello then gave a siloquiy after he learned that Iago had led him to believe that Desdemona did cheat. The speech, he gave is him trying to reconcile what he did, “speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate” (5.2.402). After delivering his speech, he kills himself. The speech he gave expressed how he usually doesn’t act like this, and allowed Iago to control his feelings. This is significant because it shows that jealousy could lead to death.
Close Reading: Othello by Christopher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.