Examples Of Denouement In Othello

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“In Othello, Shakespeare breaks the traditional narrative structure; there is no real denouement. Justice is not served and chaos reigns.” How far do you agree? You must analyse language and structure to support your answer. It can be argued that Othello does not follow the traditional narrative structure, detailed in Freytag's Pyramid as the exposition, the rising action, the climax, the falling action, and the denouement, and instead that the play does not have a “true” denouement in Act 5, with it ending in the middle of chaos. Both Othello and a typical Greek tragedy have five acts, however, it can be argued that the terms in Freytag's pyramid do not correspond with the acts. It could be said that the true climax of the play occurs in…show more content…
In Act 5 Scene 2, Othello says to Iago that he is glad Iago did not die because '’tis happiness to die'. Othello killing himself shows he does not repent, and instead is happy to die, and therefore justice is not carried out. In the same way, Emilia appears to be the only character to take the blame for her actions- 'That handkerchief thou speak’st of/I found by fortune and did give my husband'- and yet she is killed by Iago, effectively disallowing justice to be served. However, it could be argued that by exposing Iago's plan, she has “done her duty”, and therefore her death does not prevent justice from being served. There is some sense of denouement in her unveiling of Iago's plot, and however unsatisfying this conclusion may be, Iago is still found out and, to an extent, punished for his crimes. Certainly, by Iago having to endure 'any cunning cruelty/That can torment him much and hold him long' instead of dying, in Othello's mind, justice is being served. Therefore, the final act could be seen as following the traditional narrative structure, as Emilia's revelation brings the denouement in which Othello kills himself. However, some may argue that Iago does not receive a punishment befitting his crime, and that instead it should be “an eye for an eye”. In this case, there is no true denouement

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