Act 3 Scene 3
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The handkerchief symbolizes different things to different characters. 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 manipulates the handkerchief so that Othello comes to see it as a symbol of Desdemona herself—her faith and chastity. By taking possession of it, he is able to convert it into evidence of her infidelity. But the handkerchief’s importance to Iago and Desdemona derives from its importance to Othello himself. He tells Desdemona that it was woven by a 200-year-old sibyl, or female prophet, using silk from sacred worms and dye extracted from the hearts of mummified virgins. Othello claims that his mother used it to keep his father faithful to her, so, to him, the handkerchief represents marital fidelity. The pattern of strawberries (dyed with virgins’ blood) on a white background strongly suggests the bloodstains left on the sheets on a virgin’s wedding night, so the handkerchief implicitly suggests a guarantee of virginity as well as fidelity.
Othello tells Desdemona that the handkerchief was woven by a 200 year old sibyl and that his mother used it to keep his father faithful to her. So for Othello, the handkerchief symbolises marital fidelity. The pattern of strawberries on the kerchief have been printed with the dye extracted from the hearts of mummified virgins and so it's obliquely suggestive of a guarantee of virginity.Act III Sc.4 Desdemona is of course very sensitive to the significance of it and is further distraught.
Since the kerchief is Othello's first gift to Desedemona she treasures it as a symbol of his love to her and always has it with her,"to kiss and talk to." Act III sc.3.
Iago manipulates the kerchief in such a way that it represents for Othello, Desdemona herself-her chastity and fidelity- and finally by taking possession of it he is able to convert it into evidence of her infidelity[Othello:"handkerchief-confessions-handkerchief!" ActIV sc,1; Othello:"I saw my handkerchief in his(Cassio's) hand."Act V sc.2] which results in her tragic death.