I am writing an essay on how shakespeare uses language to create and alter tension in the play; can anyone give me some major tips?
This is a good question for the discussion board, since you'll get many different opinions.
One thing that Shakespeare does magnificently is use the characters' relationships with one another to build tension (how they speak to one another, etc.) For example, let's take Desdemona and Othello in the play Othello. Desdemona is supposed to be "subservient" to Othello because this is the way women were during this time period. When she is accused of adultery by Othello, she desperately wants to prove to him that she is innocent; however, she cannot be as adamant or forceful as a women could be today. When she does get animated and insists she is innocent, Othello slaps her; this is when her demeanor changes and she resigns herself to speaking to him very quietly and with resolute calm. Therefore, you can see how tension can build simply based on the language and demeanor that characters use with each other.