In Othello Act 4, scene 3, there are three examples of foreshadowing:
- The uncontested dominance of Othello and Desdemona’s mindless obedience sets up the next tragedy.
- The wedding bedclothes revealed the bride’s fate.
- The song “Willow,” which foretells Desdemona’s death, is from Othello.
Shakespeare’s Othello, with its many themes and difficulties, makes the recipient think about each scene. It encourages people to look for the underlying meaning that foretells future events in the drama.
Foreshadowing, which is a literary device, helps authors provide the reader with an explicit clue as to how things will progress in the story. Foreshadowing can take various forms and be revealed in a variety of ways. The following are some of the most popular:
- the titles of the sub-chapters;
- the dialogues of the characters;
- the story events.
Act IV of Shakespeare’s Othello is, in part, devoted to foreshadowing. The influence of the prediction is enhanced through the characters’ speeches. Lines from Othello and Desdemona that are rich with allusions and indications for event development are emphasized.
The use of foreshadowing devices in Act IV Scene 3 is prevalent. The scene’s location, for example, is the first instance. Othello sends Desdemona to her room, where he will subsequently strangle her. He also asks her to dismiss Emilia, intending to murder his wife without witnesses:
Get you to bed on the instant; I will be returned
forthwith: dismiss your attendant there: look it be done.
(Act 4, scene 3)
Emilia is enraged by Desdemona’s command, which disturbs Emilia. The maid is at a loss to comprehend how her lady can talk to Othello in that manner. As a result of this, the sequence includes indirect allusions to trust issues that might lead to disaster in the end. When Desdemona refers to wedding sheets, she uses the words excellent bedding:
If I do die before thee prithee, shroud me
In one of those same sheets.
(Act 4, scene 3)
She may be concerned that Othello will carry out his threats. The type of bedclothes can show her dedication to and forgiveness for her spouse. Finally, Desdemona’s Willow song predicts she will be murdered by her loving husband. It has a moving narrative as well, with Desdemona observing:
My mother had a maid call’d Barbara:
She was in love, and he she loved proved mad
And did forsake her: she had a song of ‘willow;’
An old thing ’twas, but it express’d her fortune,
And she died singing it: that song to-night
Will not go from my mind;
(Act 4, scene 3)
Desdemona sings the song, predicting her death. She will also sing it before she dies. Shakespeare exploits the fact that his audience is familiar with the conclusion in his tragedies by employing the literary technique of foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is any time in a tale when there’s a hint or indication about what will happen later on. Foreshadowing may be found in all forms of storytelling, even if the conclusion is supposed to be a surprise.
In The Empire Strikes Back, for example, Luke has a dream in which he is fighting Darth Vader. After defeating Vader, Luke sees his own face behind his mask, foreshadowing the revelation that Vader is actually his father.
Foreshadowing, on the other hand, maybe more effective in tragedy when the audience is already aware of what will happen. We as readers or spectators already know that the characters are heading to perish soon, which adds to their tension when they appear to have foreknowledge of their own death. In Othello, both of the doomed lovers, Othello and Desdemona, prewarn their demise in love-themed speeches.