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How does Shakespeare convey a sense of impending crisis in Act IV

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Othello Questions. Q) How does Shakespeare convey a sense of impending crisis in Act IV? It is typical of Shakespeare's play in those times to have a very intense and impending crisis calling situation in Act IV; it was the climax of the play, where the audience expected maximum villainy and trouble. The three scenes in this Act compact together many dramatic moments and also help unveil Othello's different side, a side where there is jealousy, anger and revenge, therefore helping in creating a sense of crisis. Scene 1 starts off with Iago and Othello, where again Iago the villainous character is corrupting Othello's mind with false thoughts of Desdemona being unfaithful. The language used to describe her disloyalty by providing sexual imagery of a 'bed' and' naked' just infuriates Othello, and shows how Shakespeare uses language as a very essential device to stir up fury. This anger itself just emphasizes upon the upcoming crisis as a result of this jealousy within Othello. Apart from using language as a dramatic technique, Shakespeare also uses overhearing and hiding as means to warn the audience and readers that there is danger coming. Next Othello has to bear the conversation between Iago and Cassio, which is wrongly interpreted to him with the help of Iago's evil way of talking and choice of words. ...read more.


Lodovico is seen as a dramatic device and representative of Venetian society, and gives hope to the readers and audience that maybe this murderous plot could be halted. It is shown that Othello is called from Cyprus while Cassio is to be governor in his place, while Desdemona shows her happiness on this. Othello presumes that she is glad because Cassio has received promotion and therefore strikes her on this, and then she leaves the stage. This definitely shows signs of impending crisis, because of Othello's rage reaching out of boundaries. While Lodovico is left shocked by a 'moor....Whom passion could not shake?' Then later Iago assures Lodovico that Othello is worse than what he seemed, thereby making the Venetian society view him as a dark figure and violent. This further worsens Othello's situation and his status, therefore hinting to crisis. Overall this scene is very disturbing making it quite revealing to future crisis, Othello is seen as getting degraded in this scene to the level violence and eavesdropping. Therefore he no more remains the noble moor he was seen to be. Also Iago helps Othello plan the horrible plot again hinting towards greater danger, while the Venetian society sees Othello as not so great. ...read more.


This hints towards danger and theme of death! This does make the reader and audience wonder why Othello told her to go to bed and reminds us of the plot. This does form a lot of tension especially when death is mentioned, but in the meantime Desdemona ironically doesn't understand why women would betray their husbands. Emilia meanwhile provides a pessimistic view of marriage and betrayal, and how women are undermined in society. This scene overall is quite emotional and tensed compared to the other scenes, as it hints to death. Desdemona still looks for the virtuous path while Emilia contradicts it with her view of marriage. Shakespeare is emphasizing her innocence and lost romance of her marriage. Desdemona mentions death and her love is shown to be quite powerful, it is also quite critical that Othello and Desdemona both cry, therefore making us sense a crisis. Othello weeps because of his marriage, while Desdemona cries because she doesn't understand what is going on. The mind of the former has been destroyed; the body of the latter is shortly to be tortured. Overall, there are so many differences between all scenes, however they do hold impending crisis in all of them. Shakespeare uses language, imagery, stage directions, dramatic irony, emotions and plotting to hint to an impending crisis. The characterization also helps in emphasizing the villainy and crisis and also innocence of Desdemona. ...read more.

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