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Othello



"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).




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