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By offering Desdemona a handkerchief as his first gift to her, Othello seeks to ease Desdemona's suffering for him, and in the later scene Desdemona reaches out to help Othello in a reciprocal act of kindness and compassion, taking her part in the narrative of Othello's adventures by pitying him, and even providing an oblique verbal indication of what that action represents in her first word to him: "Faith.
The word "compassion" is used here in a situation in which the pitying party is in a position to mitigate suffering (unlike the examples of compassion in tales 2 and 26).
I would hear disdainful laughter rather than see pitying tears because I would imagine other men to be like him" (13).