Illusion is used frequently throughout the play in relation to love, friendship and character personalities. Emilia, on the other hand, has been married for at least a couple of years and her perception of reality thus differs from that of Desdemona.
But this does not change her feeling to her beloved. For a woman to easily change the way a man feels or the way he acts just by being female and attractive is enough to drive men insane.
The handkerchief becomes an extension of the power that Desdemona used to embody. She defies what her father Brabantio thinks about marrying Othello and boldly does so anyway. One of the men is distraught, having tried to win her love but miserably failed, and the other agrees that she is quite a prize.
His whole plan is to point out to Othello that Cassio has the handkerchief, therefore proving to Othello that Cassio and Desdemona are engaging in an affair.
The work revolves around four central characters; Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army; his new wife, Desdemona; his lieutenant, Cassio; and his trusted ensign, Iago.
The way that Shakespeare portrays these relationships sets the stage for the pain and deceit that unfolds within the play. Can instinct alone impair our reason, or can a third deadly emotion mar all?
Even considering the racial nature of the marriage, his lack of a constant home, and the improper method of his courting, there is another reason why their marriage would never have worked. It seems modern women are much more capable of having what could be known as an "equal opportunity" marriage.