Essay about Dramatic Tension in Act 4 Scene 3 of William Shakespeare's Othello

Essay about Dramatic Tension in Act 4 Scene 3 of William Shakespeare's Othello

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Dramatic Tension in Act 4 Scene 3 of William Shakespeare's Othello

Shakespeare employs the use of dramatic devices to signify the
approaching climax of the play throughout “Othello”. With Act 4,
scene 3 being the final scene to involve Desdemona before her murder,
the use of such dramatic devices is prevalent in order to create
tension.

The scene begins with tension, as Lodovico promptly attempts to escape
Othello’s company (pg 152, line 245). This behaviour can be attributed
towards his disgusted reaction at having recently seen Othello’s
public humiliation of Desdemona. Lodovico bids Desdemona goodnight
with graciousness and reverence. Subsequent to the event that Lodovico
has just witnessed, his behaviour appears to be a deliberate defiance
of Othello’s wishes, and thus creates dramatic tension. Further
dramatic tension is created in Lodovico’s polite address towards
Desdemona being contrasted with Othello’s domineering commands (pg153,
lines1-10). Dramatic tension is also conveyed through
characterisation; in Othello’s embodiment of the attitude of a
typically patriarchal man, and Desdemona’s obedient tolerance.
Evidently, Othello takes pleasure in publicly victimising Desdemona,
who has in turn come to fear Othello. These behaviours allude towards
tension due to their dissimilarity to the accustomed conduct of
Othello and Desdemona. Desdemona’s growing fear of Othello is evident
in the precautions she takes to avoid his anger. Desdemona places the
importance of Othello’s commands above her need to confide in Emilia,
as presented in her imposing Emilia’s ordered dismissal.

Shakespeare applies foreshadowing throughout the...


... middle of paper ...


...sfully incorporates dramatic tension in
“Othello” act 4, scene 3, the presence of which remains constant
throughout the play with continuous references to themes,
characterization, foreshadowing and contrasts. This dramatic tension
surfaces during the very beginning of the scene and remains, although
only subtly detected, until the end. Shakespeare successfully reaches
various peaks of dramatic tension through different parts of the
scene, which prevents the level of dramatic tension from dissipating
and thus maintains the build up. The main source of dramatic tension
is patently the foretelling of Desdemona’s fate; a theme which one
would expect to be so prevalent in the final scenes of the play.
Shakespeare is also successful in achieving dramatic tension through
methods such as length and style of speech and irony.

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