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Speech in Shakespeare's "Othello" possesses a power beyond that of deeds'. It is Othello's fantastical storytelling that won him Desdemona at the start, Iago's poisonous suggestion that leads the general to murder his own wife, Emilia's testimony that traps the villain in the end. Not all of this speech is true, and we will never know for sure whether Othello's handkerchief is magic or why Iago created his plot; but words, regardless of their truth, convince the characters even more than physical evidence does. When characters control their speech, either by remaining silent or by bursting out, they exert the strongest power they can have over the play's world.