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Word Count: 681
There are some indications as to the fact that the word nothing could mean female genitals in Elizabethan English A woman seems to have nothing between her legs and this nothing both reassures and threatens men If the nothing is in a mans exclusive possession it is only his to fill However if a woman is to become an individual owner of her own nothing then god knows whos going to fill the gaping hole The nothing becomes an abyss that swallows a mans virility and then as Othello puts it chaos is come again IIIii92-3 The chaos of paranoid jealousy is the specific chaos of Othello a self-inflatable doubt in compulsive search of its confirmation it is an idea without the minutest rooting in reality in a constant pursuit of an object to link itself to Paranoid jealousy thus tends to fill the world with hidden meanings Iago is well aware of this as he cunningly replies Nothing when Othello asks what ails him He knows that Othello is going to over-read the word as well as he is going to over-read the stolen handkerchief To know only something is to know that there is something else that you do not know This chain of knowledge stretches out to infinity To a paranoiac each piece of evidence suggests another until it becomes a pathological obsession with hunting down hidden knowledge ie epistemophilia as Freud terms it The idea of epistemophilia is to pluck out the heart of a mystery so as to master and possess it However since in Othello there is no mystery this idea is constantly foiled and creates endless frustration no further knowledge can be obtained and a man who knows he knows only little betrays a pathetic capacity to believe anything Nothing can bring relief but the confirmation of the doubt Othello will not believe Iagos words until he has obtained ocular proof of his wifes infidelity However in
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