Shop  |  Calendar  |  Join  |  Buy Tickets  |  Hamnet  |  Site Rental  |  Press Room  
About UsWhat's OnUse the CollectionDiscover ShakespeareTeach & LearnFolger InstituteSupport Us
Folger Exhibitions
• Past Exhibitions
Seeing What Shakespeare Means

   Sign up for E-news!
   Printer Friendly


"If that the earth could teem with woman's tears, / Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile" Othello (4.1.274-275) .


Once again drawing on the proverbial, Shakespeare alludes to the crocodile's supposed ability to shed false tears that would evoke sympathy from its intended victim. After verbally and physically abusing Desdemona, Othello accuses her of shedding hypocritical tears. But tragically, it is Iago who has entrapped him with false and misleading suggestions about Desdemona's fidelity.

Jacob Typot. Symbola divina & humana pontificum imperatorum regum. Frankfurt, 1652 (Detail).

Bookmark and Share   
     Copyright & Policies   |   Sitemap   |   Contact Us   |   About This Site
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Get directions »

Federal Tax ID #04-2103542
PublicReading Room
10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday8:45am to 4:45pm, Monday through Friday
12pm to 5pm, Sunday9am to noon and 1pm to 4:30pm, Saturday
Main: 202 544 4600
Box Office: 202 544 7077
Fax: 202 544 4623