(in Shakespeare's Othello). Daughter of Brabantio. She
fell in love with Othello, and eloped with him. Iago, acting on the
jealous temper of the Moor, made him believe that his wife had an
intrigue with Cassio, and in confirmation of this statement told the
Moor that she had given Cassio a pocket-handkerchief, the fact being
that Iago's wife, to gratify her husband, had purloined it. Othello
asked his bride for it, but she was unable to find it; whereupon the
Moor murdered her and then stabbed himself.
“She ... was ready to listen and weep, like Desdemona, at the stories
of his dangers and campaigns.” —Thackeray.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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