118 - Desdemona's reaction to the confrontation is the...

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Unformatted text preview: Desdemona's reaction to the confrontation is the opposite. She tells Emilia she is "half asleep," either as a convenient lie to keep her privacy or as an expression of emotional exhaustion. Emilia invites conversation, but her mistress, near to weeping but unable to do it, can only think of one course of action, the wedding sheets. Wedding sheets are one of the major items in a well brought- up young woman's set of household linen that she brings to her marriage. These sheets would be of the finest cloth, hand-embroidered by the bride herself, and would have taken a considerable time to make. In some Mediterranean cultures, after the marriage ceremony, the couple retire to the bedroom and consummate the marriage. The wedding sheets are then hung out on the balcony, to show to all that the bride had been a virgin. So wedding sheets have both intimate and public show to all that the bride had been a virgin....
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