Examine the way Shakespeare develops tension in act 5
Scene 2of Othello
In the start of act 5, we see Desdemona asleep in her bedchamber which almost foreshadows her death as this is the position she lay in when she dies.
Othello’s speech sets the audiences feelings on a rollercoaster of tension, as the first time the audience experience tension is when Othello says “yet not shed her blood; nor scar that whiter skin of her than snow”, this could be used as a metaphor as snow is the symbol of purity, this quote is when tension is introduced to the audience as ‘will he kill her’.
The audience are confused by the change in heart of Othello, as at the beginning of the play Desdemona was introduced as a wonderful thing then became a woman that “must die” because of the pestilence from Iago and his manipulation because of the envy of Othello and his position. At this point the audience is already angry because Othello is playing God, and since God has the power to take away peoples life, this makes us think that Othello will kill sweet Desdemona, “put out the light, and then put out the light”.
Othello compares Desdemona to a rose, “When I have pluck’d the rose, I cannot give it vital growth again”, this give us the impression that Othello will not kill Desdemona as a rose is a symbol of love but the same quote makes us think that Othello will kill his faithful wife as he says “I cannot give it vital growth again” which means that he cannot give her life after he had plucked her soul.
Suspense and anticipation arises when Othello kisses Desdemona while at the same time they also feel relief of tension, as you don’t kiss someone you’re about to kill.
After kissing her, Othello gives us certain images of love, which gives us certainty that he will not kill her, but the interruption between the images makes the tension rise “and I will kill thee, and love thee after.”, “one more and this will be the last: so sweet was ne’er so fatal.” This quote shows us that...