“The Real Thing” and Othello

Edward Penfield, Arrow washed handkerchiefs… (ca. 1920) and Room from a hotel in the Cours d’Albret, Bordeaux

Max: This probably isn’t anything, but I found this in the car, between the front seats. (He shows her a soiled and blood-stained white handkerchief.)
Annie: What is it?
Max: Henry’s handkerchief…It’s not true, is it?
Annie: Yes.
Max: Oh, God. (He stands up.) Why did you?…
Annie: I’m awfully sorry, Max, but I love him.
Max: Oh, no.

—Tom Stoppard, “The Real Thing”

Othello: By heaven, I saw my handkerchief in’s hand.
O perjured woman! thou dost stone my heart…
I saw the handkerchief.


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