Their hearts in their hands

Posted by ESC on May 01, 2007

In Reply to: Their hearts in their hands posted by John on April 30, 2007

: They are walking down the street with "their hearts in their hands".

: What does the phrase mean, "their hearts in their hands"?

I am guessing that it means opening showing emotions. The same as this:

It is sure as you are Roderigo,
Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago.
In following him, I follow but myself;
Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,
But seeming so, for my peculiar end;
For when my outward action doth demonstrate
The native act and figure of my heart
In complement extern, 'tis not long after
But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve.
For daws to peck at. I am not what I am.
Othello, Act 1, scene 1, 56-65

.when your heart is displayed so openly, as if upon your sleeve, the 'daws' (jackdaws) will accept the invitation to pick away at it. By admitting to his treachery, Iago would seem, in effect, to 'wear his heart on his sleeve' for Roderigo. Yet, while Iago tells the truth, he doesn't tell all of it, and keeps hidden his true 'native act and figure' - his intention to dupe Roderigo out of even more jewels and cash." From "Brush Up Your Shakespeare!" by Michael Macrone (Gramercy Books, New York, 1990).