Naivety and Credible Evidence: Othello's Tragic Handkerchief

Shakespeare's Othello is a tragedy unlike others of it's time. Othello is a play concerned with domestic fidelity more than royal usurpations. It is a play in which ocular proof comes from a mystical strawberry handkerchief rather than a ghost of a murdered king. Indeed, Othello presents a matrimonial tragedy rather than a national one. Othello and Desdemona's relationship is most always at the forefront of the action. Although war and matters of national interest serve to move the plot along, they are merely the backdrop to the real story concerning vengeful accusations of marital betrayal. This presents a problem, as the main character, Othello, seems to be the least capable of successfully dealing with what turns into a complicated domestic affair. Othello is a warrior and statesman that admittedly knows of little else. In fact, it seems that everything that he knows about marriage and females comes from a single handkerchief, given to him by his mother. He believes that this handkerchief, his first gift to Desdemona, has magical powers. Although Othello, having been accused of witchcraft to win Desdemona, denies the accusation, he comes to place his entire marriage and the question of his wife's fidelity on...

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