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Analyse the ways in which Shakespeare uses dramatic conventions in his plays and why they are significant.

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Introduction

Analyse the ways in which Shakespeare uses dramatic conventions in his plays and why they are significant. A dramatic convention is the specific actions or techniques the actor, writer or director has employed to create a desired dramatic effect/style. Dramatic conventions are significant in Shakespeare's plays as they created dramatic irony and they got the audience involved, making them feel like they were a part of the trick or lie. Dramatic conventions are still used today in TV soap operas such as Hollyoaks. In Hollyoaks eavesdropping is used. It has had a modern twist put on it, as it is put across through a visual aid, such as a mobile phone (reading of text messages). Asides and soliloquies are still used too in the form of thought bubbles and voices in the characters' heads. Shakespeare used dramatic devices because there were so little stage directions in Shakespeare's time; mood, atmosphere and many of the characters' thoughts and actions are revealed through dialogue and dramatic devices. The main political beliefs at the time Shakespeare wrote these plays was Machiavellian Politics in which man will do anything to succeed and that anything can be bought. Three of Shakespeare most famous play were: Nothing (Act 2 Scene 3, Act 3 Scene 1 and Act 3 Scene 3), Hamlet (Act 3 Scene 4) and Othello (Act 4 Scene 1). Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy and Hamlet and Othello are tragedies. Much Ado About Nothing was written in 1598/1599 this was known as Shakespeare's comedy period. ...read more.

Middle

To maximise the effect of the eavesdropping Hero then says she is going to tell Benedick he must try to hide his passion as Beatrice does not love him back and is over dramatic: "No rather I will go to Benedick, and counsel him to fight his passion." This will make Beatrice feel guilty. This trick works so easily because Beatrice already loves Benedick, she is too proud to realise. To emphasise the fact how much Beatrice have been tricked Hero uses rhyming couplets: "Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps". This makes it so obvious to the audience that Beatrice has been tricked. After Beatrice hears Hero and Ursula she also speaks in a soliloquy. The soliloquy is almost a sonnet. It is spoken in iambic pentameter; this means that words go together in pairs like Beatrice and Benedick should go together. In this scene the eavesdropping creates a lot of dramatic irony because Hero is tricking Beatrice; Hero thinks that it is so foolish for Beatrice to fall for the trick. However the last two scenes have showed the positive qualities of eavesdropping, yet you feel it is like the cloud before the storm. In Act 3 Scene 3 eavesdropping is not used in a deliberate way. It is accidental eavesdropping. It suggests how the Machiavellian class system has the potential to create tragedy. As Machiavellian encourages spying, eavesdropping and trickery, this helps them to climb the social ladder whatever the cost. ...read more.

Conclusion

This has all been done by Iago when he puts ideas in Othello's head. When Desdemona drops her handkerchief, Emilia gives it to Iago. He plans to plant it in Cassio's lodgings: "Trifles light as air/Are to the jealous confirmations strong/As proofs of holy writ." Othello returns, accusing Iago of torturing him and demanding proof of Desdemona's infidelity. Iago claims to have heard Cassio talking of her in his sleep and to have seen him use her handkerchief. A director could modernise the play in film by replacing the handkerchief with another item of clothing. The director achieves this well in the film "O". They replace the handkerchief with a scarf. The audience in this scene will have noticed that Iago is trying to put ideas into Othello's head. They will feel almost guilty as well because they feel like they want to shout out to Othello that Iago is trying to trick him. They will also feel powerless, as they cannot help Othello but must watch the story unfold right in front of their eyes. This gives more power to Iago. This is how Shakespeare used eavesdropping in three different plays, to create very different effects. It shows us how it can have positive and negative effects. Eavesdropping is probably the main dramatic device that has been carried through the years into modern television and film. This shows just how a successful playwright William Shakespeare was. To have plays that have gone through 400 years and are still very successful, is a great achievement. ?? ?? ?? ?? Andrew Reid 4C English Essay Draft 1 05/08/2011 19:31 ...read more.

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