The conversation between Bianca and Cassio ensues after Bianca, and a prostitute accuses Cassio of not seeing her enough. He apologizes claiming that he has been occupied with anxious thoughts. He then asks Bianca to make a replica of a handkerchief he hands to her. Bianca, presuming the cloth to be a gift from a woman, accuses Cassio of sleeping with another woman (Shakespeare & Sanders, 1984). In response, Cassio assures her that her jealousy is without cause. Bianca wants to stay longer with him, but he says he has to find Othello and that they could only meet later. This Bianca accepts begrudgingly.
Bianca's jealousy serves as a contrast for the resentment that Othello feels for Desdemona (Shakespeare & Sanders, 1984). It is also an indication that women are also prone to this feeling as opposed to a prior judgment by Emilia attributing it only to men, earlier in the same scene. Bianca is also depicted as a contrast to Desdemona because she is a prostitute while Desdemona is a virtuous wife. However, due to Bianca's feelings for Cassio, the contrast is complicated.
The handkerchief features in their conversation as it does throughout the play (Shakespeare & Sanders, 1984). It is one of the central symbols of the unfolding story. In some instances, it represents Othello's unique and mysterious heritage, and to him, it also represents Desdemona's chastity. It can, therefore, take different interpretations depending on the circumstance and its carrier. When Iago places the handkerchief in Cassio's lodging, it indicates a conviction of Desdemona's unfaithfulness (Shakespeare & Sanders, 1984). When it is found in Bianca's hands, who is a whore, it is an illustration that Desdemona has lost her virtue according to Othello because she lost the handkerchief which was a symbol of that virtue.
The conversation between Bianca and Cassio comprises of dramatic irony. This is because the accusations and the jealousy indignations are expressed for things that did not happen. Bianca accuses Cassio of not seeing her enough because she suspected he had a new lover. This suspicion is confirmed when Cassio asked her to replicate the embroidery of a handkerchief (Shakespeare & Sanders, 1984). This accusation is invalid because Cassio did not even know the owner of the handkerchief. This is similar to other indignations in the scene, for example, Othello's jealousy about Desdemona and also accuses her of being unfaithful to him which turns out to be wrong.
Cassio treats the handkerchief in a very casual manner; he asks his mistress to replicate it for him. This presents dramatic irony because the audience understands and appreciates the significance of the handkerchief while Cassio seems not to. Bianca's replication of the beautiful embroidery on the handkerchief is symbolically used to allude to the flawed love Othello has for Desdemona as indicated by the fact that it can easily be copied when another person asks (Shakespeare & Sanders, 1984). Also, because the white handkerchief and the red embroidery on it allude to the bride's indication of broken virginity on the wedding night, Cassio giving it to Bianca to make a copy is viewed as mockery because she already lost her virginity and she is a prostitute. This is despite her confessing that she has feelings for Cassio. This conversation goes to emphasize Cassio's character and his attitude towards Bianca.
Shakespeare, W., & Sanders, N. (1984). Othello (The New Cambridge Shakespeare).
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