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How does Shakespeare create dramatic tension in Act 3 Scenes 3 and 4, in order to involve the Audience?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare create dramatic tension in Act 3 Scenes 3 and 4, in order to involve the Audience? To identify the main events leading to Act 3 scenes three and four we only have to look at the soliloquies made by Iago. These can be found in Act 2 scene 1, Act 2 scenes 2 and 3. The first shows how Iago begins to think about trying to displace Cassio form his position "...to get his place..." and he will do this by tricking both Cassio and Othello, "In double knavery." After that he tells the audience that he will some how use Cassio's "smooth dispose" (charming manner) and that he will take advantage of Othello's "...free and open nature..." from this we see that Iago already has a semi formed plan which he will reveal further into the play. This is done in the second soliloquy where Iago develops the plan further. This is done by telling the audience that Cassio does loves Desdemona and it would not be too difficult for the other characters in the play to believe that she would love him back. ...read more.

Middle

He says "...and when I love thee not chaos is come again." After that the scene carries on with Iago placing more and more suspicion into Othello's mind during their conversation, then comes one of the most important events of the play, Desdemona dropping her handkerchief and then Emilia picks it up under the instruction of Iago. Then once Iago knows that he has some proof of the supposed affair he puts more pressure onto Othello so much so that he demands proof of the affair, "make me to see 't." With that comment he has once again played right into the hands of Iago who a little later on suggests that he had seen Cassio with a handkerchief similar to one which Othello gave to Desdemona. This is the final straw for Othello to wish "...that Cassio's not alive." To which Iago replies " My friend is dead. 'Tis done as you request, but let her live." This is just another example of Iago twisting the truth to suit his situation; this particular attempt earns him the place of lieutenant in the army and more respect from Othello. ...read more.

Conclusion

The audience would find quite a lot of tension in the section where Othello asks Desdemona about the handkerchief because the audience can see that if she admitted to just dropping it everything would be normal between them. Looking back at the beginning of scene 3 and comparing the state of Othello there to the end of scene 4 we can see that he has come from loving "sweet Desdemona" to wanting to "...tear her all to pieces." At the end of the scene the audience are presented with a man seething with anger willing to sentence his best friend to death, this brings about lots of tension because the audience is still willing Othello to reconsider his situation and will realise what has happened to him. The way the pace of the play increases during the two scenes add to this effect, bringing about more dramatic tension because the viewer gets bombarded by more and more information and has to try to understand what's going on whilst more is happening which focuses all of their attention on the play. Nicholas Hulbert Shakespeare Essay ...read more.

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