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Last Scene in Othello

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  • October 2007
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The Last Scene in Shakespeare's "Othello"

In the final scene of Shakespeare's "Othello" there is a great amount of dramatic action which leads to an appropriate ending to all of the action of the play. Othello, still under the influence of Desdemona's beauty, smothers her because he thinks this is the only way to get justice. Before Desdemona dies, Emilia hears her say that no one is to blame for her death. Emilia discovers that it was Othello who killed her and convinces him that he was wrong with his suspicions and is shocked to find Iago was behind it all! All Iago's plots are discovered and he kills Emilia! Othello overtaken by sadness and guilt kills himself. The scene begins with Othello entering Desdemona's room as she sleeps she wakes up and realizes it is Othello. We witness their final conversation were Desdemona gets more and more frightened, also more and more mentally and physically claustrophobic. She pleads for Othello not to kill her just now and give her some time to get Cassio in and for him to prove she was not unfaithful with him. Othello tries to make Desdemona feel ragged with guilt and admit that she had an affair, but obviously she didn't and has no idea what Othello is speaking about so cannot let him hear what he wants to hear.

"If you bethink yourself of any crime
Unreconciled as yet to heaven grace,
Solicit for it straight."
V, ii, 26-28

I think here he wants her to admit it to give him more justification for what he is about to do. Then to maybe make him feel less guilty afterwards. Othello soon kills Desdemona. During this Othello is interrupted by a knock at the door from Emilia telling them of the fight between Roderigo and Cassio, this helps Shakespeare to lower the already high tension, then to rebuild it to an even higher point than it was before. When Emilia enters the room finding Desdemona dead she asks who has killed Desdemona and she simply replies,

"Nobody. I myself. Farewell....

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