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Bradley, A. C. Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth.
2nd ed. London: Macmillan, 1905.
PAGE 424

attack on Othello, asserts that he has seen the handkerchief in Cassio's hand; Othello bids him kill Cassio within three days, and resolves to kill Desdemona himself. All this occurs in one unbroken scene, and evidently on the day after the arrival in Cyprus (see III. i. 33).

     In the scene (iv.) following the temptation-scene Desdemona sends to bid Cassio come, as she has interceded for him; Othello enters, tests her about the handkerchief, and departs in anger; Cassio, arriving, is told of the change in Othello, and, being left solus, is accosted by Bianca, whom he requests to copy the work on the handkerchief which he has just found in his room (II. 188 f.). All this is naturally taken to happen in the later part of the day on which the events of III. i.-iii. took place, i.e. the day after the arrival in Cyprus: but I shall return to this point.

     In IV. i. Iago tells Othello that Cassio has confessed, and, placing Othello where he can watch, he proceeds on Cassio's entrance to rally him about Bianca; and Othello, not being near enough to hear what is said, believes that Cassio is laughing at his conquest of Desdemona. Cassio here says that Bianca haunts him and 'was here even now'; and Bianca herself, coming in, reproaches him about the handkerchief 'you gave me even now.' There is therefore no appreciable time between III. iv. and IV. i. In this same scene Bianca bids Cassio come to supper to-night; and Lodovico, arriving, is asked to sup with Othello to-night. In IV. ii. Iago persuades Roderigo to kill Cassio that night as he comes from Bianca's. In IV. iii Lodovico, after supper, takes his leave, and Othello bids Desdemona go to bed on the instant and dismiss her attendant.

     In Act V, that night, the attempted assassination of Cassio, and the murder of Desdemona, take place.

     From all this, then, it seems clear that the time between the arrival in Cyprus and the catastrophe is certainly not more than a few days, and most probably only about a day and a half: or, to put it otherwise, that most probably Othello kills his wife about twenty-four hours after the consummation of their marriage!

     The only possible place, it will be seen, where time can elapse is between III. iii. and III. iv. And here Mr. Fleay would imagine a gap of at least a week. The reader will find that this supposition involves the following results. (a) Desdemona has

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