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Othello - The Willow Scene is a comparatively brief but intimate conversation between two women.

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Introduction

The Willow Scene is a comparatively brief but intimate conversation between two women. Analyse its dramatic qualities and show its social and historical context. The Willow scene begins on a tense atmosphere between Lodovico, Desdemona and Othello. It is clear that Lodovico is very embarrassed about the events of the evening, this is when Othello had hit Desdemona (Lodovico's cousin) in public. Othello is still angry with Desdemona and speaks to her very bluntly. "Get you to bed on th'instant. I will be returned forthwith. Dismiss your attendant there. Look't be done." So as not to anger Othello further Desdemona obeys every word. Lodovico also makes his feelings very clear when he tells Othello politely that he doesn't want to spend time and walk with him, due to his embarrassment. "I do beseech you sir, trouble yourself no further." It is odd how just these few sentences portray a sense of doom, anger, and danger for the rest of the scene, which is no more than a conversation between two women which is so intimate, the scene has become famous for its content and emotion. ...read more.

Middle

"She had a song of Willow; an old thing twas but it expressed her fortune, and she died singing it. That song tonight will not go from my mind." Emilia's reaction to Desdemona's behaviour seems sympathetic however she replies to Desdemona in a chirp and happy way, maybe so to cheer her up. Desdemona requests to Emilia "No, unpin me here." This passage is a very important part of the scene because, as Desdemona undresses in front of the audience, she is left in her underwear. This would show Desdemona's vulnerability plus she would be exposed to hundreds of strangers. Desdemona would look fragile and defenceless to the audience. In her sorrow Desdemona begins to sing the song of Willow. Throughout the song it is made clear that Desdemona is feeling uneasy about herself and surroundings, also maybe what she thinks might happen when Othello returns. Desdemona acts very nervously whilst singing as she keeps drifting in and out of song. "Sing all a green Willow must be my garland. ...read more.

Conclusion

It first begins with embarrassment and tension, then moves to sadness and confusion for love and finally shock and understanding about the minds of different women. The conversation between Desdemona and Emilia may only be brief, but it contains the feelings of two women who both have difficult lives. It is very touching how the audience/reader sees Desdemona as a helpless young girl in love, the feeling of pity for her would be how I would describe how I felt. Where as Emilia is seen as a mature young lady with many 'rebellious' plans against marriage and men in particular. Desdemona is still seen as an innocent and pure young woman right through to the end of the scene. It is also sad how really deep down I think she knows that she hasn't much time left before either danger or maybe death occurs, which is all down to her only love Othello. I think this is maybe why she prays to God before the scene ends maybe because Desdemona hopes to be safe from any trouble approaching. "Good night, good night. God me such uses send, not to pick bad from bad, but by bad to mend." Danielle Hartley 11RH ...read more.

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