The Truth Hidden in Silence

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Soranlly Jardines
Ms. Hickey
Critical Essay-First Draft
June 3, 2011

The Truth Hidden in Silence

Adrienne Rich once said “Lying is done with words, but also with silence”. This quote means that lying is done when someone is not only saying the truth, but knowing the truth and keeping it to themselves and not saying anything. It can also mean keeping a secret from someone and not knowing the consequence that can happen. I agree with this statement because now and days people either lie or keep the truth to themselves when needing the truth can make a difference. In the play Othello by William Shakespeare, characters like Iago and Emilia seem to know the truth about something, but decide not to speak about it with anyone.

In Othello, Emilia finds the handkerchief that Desdemona dropped on the floor which was given by the protagonist, Othello. When Emilia finds the handkerchief she says “I am glad I have found this napkin” This was her first remembrance from the Moor,” My wayward husband hath a hundred times Wooed me to steal it, but she so loves the token— For he conjured her she should ever keep it— That she reserves it evermore about her To kiss and talk to. I’ll ha’ the work ta’en out, And give’t Iago. What he will do with it, Heaven knows, not I.I nothing, but to please his fantasy” (III.iii.294–303). Then later on, Desdemona is worried about the loss of her handkerchief and asks Emilia “Where should I lose that handkerchief, Emilia?” She replies, “I know not, madam” (Act III.iv.23-24). Both of these quote show that Emilia was glad she found the handkerchief to please Iago, but betrayed her friendship with Desdemona by lying. Emilia not telling the truth about Desdemona’s handkerchief reveals the theme of the truth hidden in silence because Emilia keeps the truth to herself to please Iago without knowing the importance of the handkerchief. Emilia keeping the truth in silence about the handkerchief later plays a major role in the play which leads to...
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