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Othello How does Shakespeare use character, action and suspense to create tension and suspense in Act 5?

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Introduction

Othello How does Shakespeare use character, action and suspense to create tension and suspense in Act 5? "Killing myself, to die upon a kiss". These are Othello's last words, as he commits suicide and dies next to his wife. After ironically killing her himself at the end of Act 5. Othello was written in 1608 a time when the Ottoman Empire was at war with the Venetians. Othello is a tragedy because of the deception and betrayal of Iago which causes many people to die. The play explores many different themes each trying to convey a specific message. The main themes of the play are betrayal, revenge, love, trust, honesty, racism and social hierarchy. These are only some of the themes explored in the play. White men were seen as trustworthy, respected people and arrogant, like Iago for example. Black men however, were racially abused because of their colour, and easily mislead, by white men, like Iago who used this to destroy Othello's relationship with Desdemona. Othello is referred to as the Moor. a racial comment used to him to make him feel different to other people. This reveals the theme of racism. Women were seen as being subservient to men. ...read more.

Middle

Desdemona's character is very different to all the others in that she is "a girl so tender, fair and happy". She is also sexually attractive, Desdemona saw "Othello's visage in his mind', and gave up everything, her father's love, and her reputation in the polite society of Venice, to love him and live with him. As the play unfolds different aspects of Desdemona's character are revealed, she seems to love Othello very deeply. "My heart's subdued Even to the very quality of my lord" this in itself creates tension because at the end of the play it is their strong love that causes Othello to kill her because betrayal would be very hard to imagine as Othello would think betrayal is unbearable. Emilia is in some way the foil to her mistress, she seems to know what is right and what is wrong, ironically the worldly wise Emilia is blind to her husband's wickedness. She says "the eternal villain" who slandered Desdemona, but she fails to identify that it is Iago. Rodrigo's character seems part good part bad, he is under the influence of the crude, deceptive and evil Iago. He also hates Othello for marrying Desdemona and racially abuses him "what fortune does the thick lips owe". ...read more.

Conclusion

The audience are led to believe that Iago will die, but when Iago makes his speech the audience are left feeling a little nervous and tense. Shakespeare uses language and imagery very well to create tension and suspense. At the end of Act 5, Scene 1, Iago speaks in a rhyming couplet, he says "this the night, that either makes me or foredoes me" this is good use of language as the audience know what he means, they are feeling anxious to know what Iago's fate will be. In Othello's last and final speech, he speaks in poetry he says "when you shall these unlucky deeds relate, speak of me as I am, nothing extenuate" this is done almost to add to the dramatic ending of the play, and make it seem more interesting for the reader. Overall I think, the play was very successful in revealing all its main themes and plots, teaching us a very good lesson; to trust and have confidence in ourselves. To beware of deceitful people like Iago. I feel that Shakespeare intended to write this play to make people aware of the society we live in. He did this through his well organized characters. ...read more.

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