Question: Show from this and other of Shakespeare's important plays the relation of the introductory scenes to the whole play.
Answer: The first scenes are of the greatest importance as furnishing a key by which we read and understand the
whole play and its characters; for instance, a mere superficial view of the first scene of Othello gives us the idea that
lago's motive for his abominable work is revenge; a closer view dispels the illusion. It gives us the first hint of Othello's character. In Hamlet, Act I. i. 111-126, we see, as it were, the great tragedy to follow looming up in the distance.
Romeo and Juliet, as well as Othello, opens with an upheaval of society, a fit prelude to the after tragic scenes. In Macbeth, the very headings of the first scene: "A desert place. Thunder and lightning. Enter three witches" - are symbolical of the whole tragedy.
How to cite this article:
Ragland, Fanny. Shakespeare Examinations. Ed. William Taylor Thom, M. A. Boston: Ginn and Co., 1888. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/othello/examqo/introscenes.html >.