1.1 Fluid movement, each entrance and exit link together
2.1 Juxtaposition of Belmont
2.1.1 Switch between
tense and light
3 Timing of Events
3.1 Act 3 Scene 2 Salerio comes bearing a letter describing
Antonio’s situation right after he has chosen the correct
case. “... I have reason for it.... his letter there
will show you his estate.” Immediately after the tension has
dropped as Bassanio has just chosen the right case,
Shakespeare reminds us of Antonio’s predicament, through
Salerio’s entrance and news, reinstating the tension.
3.2 Act 3 Scene 1 We learn that Antonio’s ships have crashed
which already makes us fear for him “... Antonio hath a ship of
rich lading wrecked”, but then Shylock arrives. Fortunately he
does not know of Antonio’s misfortune “ do you hear whether
Antonio have had any loss at sea or no?” “There I have another
bad match”. This creates relief in the audience as Antonio’s life
is not in immediate danger. However, Shakespeare then
introduces Tubal who informs Shylock of the shipwreck
“Antonio… hath an argosy cast away”. Tension would rise again
as Shylock who has just spoken menacingly of the bond, “to bait
fish withal...:”, now knows Antonio cannot fufill the bond.
3.3 During the courtroom scene, dramatic structure is used to
heighten the tension. Act 4 sc 1 is the courtroom scene where
Portia arrives, dressed as a lawyer to try and defend Antonio.
Tension is created throughout the scene as Portia, dressed as
a lawyer, announces what’s going to happen to Antonio.
Towards the end of the scene, Shakespeare creates a plot
twist and Portia reveals a loophole in the bond which saves
Antonio. ““Tarry a little, there is something else” , “This bond
doth give thee here no jot of blood”.
4 Creates suspense
4.1 Shakespeare creates moments of
great suspense through the manner of
changing between plots and locations
at vital points in the proceedings.
4.2 Shakespeare weaves
the different plots
4.3 Sometimes the audience is ahead of the characters -
dramatic irony. On other occasions, the audience is
not shown something until the characters has seen
it. By varying the use of these techniques,
Shakespeare is able to develop both humour and