Othello’s Opening Scene: What Effect Does Shakespeare Wish To Have on His Audience?Have you ever enjoyed a drama that instantly submerges the audience in the opening scene? Yes? No? Shakespeare utilized this method in Othello, but why? What effect does he desire this opening scene to have on the audience? Keep them thinking about his story. Naturally, all composers and authors desire their readers to continue reading, want to attract their attention, even Shakespeare. Shakespeare wishes to put audience in the scene, in the play. Let the audience belong of the play by submerging the audience in the deceptiveness by means of Iago’s speech from the opening scene.
He makes the audience seem like being a passer- by in the street of Venice. They hear the argument between Iago and Roderigo. Then follow them to Brabantio like paparazzi. Shakespeare keeps the audience adhere to the story. I think this is the effect he wants to have on the audience by making them feel like a part of the play, like they are not audience, but one of the actor which is hidden. Shakespeare has brought the audience into his play. He stimulates audience’s curiosity and makes the audience yearn or have a desire to continue enjoy his play. Tush, never ever inform me, I take it much unkindly that thou, Iago, who hast had my bag as if the strings were thine shouldst understand of this.” Said Roderigo at the beginning in an urgent tone. This makes a sense of emergency situation, in fact almost the entire scene is quite extreme. This is also how Shakespeare ignites the audience’s curiosity and their attention; keep them from dropping off to sleep. By bringing the audience into the scene, to the street of Venice immediately and hear the entire discussion in between Iago and Roderigo, the audience discover what has to do with the story.
Unlike the other plays and dramas, Shakespeare does not use reverse chronology, but let the audience know what is happening in the story at the start. From the opening scene, the audience can know that Roderigo has actually paid Iago to spy on Othello since Roderigo wants to take Desdemona, who is Othello’s girlfriend as his own, and also Othello has married Desdemona. Shakespeare makes everything clear in the opening scene, then the audience would not feel puzzled about the story’s style and what it is about.
Therefore I believe this is another effect, to make the audience understand the situation plainly. The very first scene functions as an introduction of the play also it sets the stage for the play of deception and defamation. In the opening scene, we can understand that Iago’s hatred of Othello due to the fact that Othello has selected Cassio as his lieutenant but not Iago himself. “In following him, I follow but myself.” and “I am not what I am”. In these few lines which are spoken by Iago, we can discover that Iago is not as loyal as he appears.
Roderigo wishes to take Desdemona be his girlfriend. It’s type of envious of Othello. What will take place if hatred and envious are combined? It will end up as revenge. We can know Iago plans to make problem for Othello. “Call up her dad: Rouse him, make after him, poison his delight, Announce him in the street, incense her kinsmen, And though he in a fertile climate dwell, Pester him with flies: though that his pleasure be joy, Yet throw such possibilities of vexation on’t As it might lose some colour. “
Iago wants to make trouble for Othello by providing problem and provoking Brabantio. This scene functions as the start of the play and as well as Othello’s love catastrophe. I think Shakespeare has used different method to compose the opening scene unlike the other author, different method to capture audience’s attention and attract their attention by immersing them into the scene. This makes the audience belong of the act and likewise plainly understand the story setting. The scene likewise shows the start of the doom of Othello.