The Tempest

The Tempest The Tempest is a play about the power and dangers of creativity. Discuss. From beginning to end the play-write gives prominence to the problems of dominion, freedom, political failure and of repetition. Like Russ Mc Donald I also believe that Shakespeare devoted his last comedy largely to the exploration of the shapes and effects that possession and the search for power can have on persons. The Tempest’s central character, Prospero, is also crucial to this interpretation.

His unique magical gifts give him undefeatable power to wreak vengeance on his enemies. It is a position fraught with dangers both for him and for others. But he is not the only veichel. Entwined with this wizard’s inventive qualities are questions over what can only be called, by a modern reader as the theme of colonialism in the play which pervades the minds of all the ‘civilised’ Italians; Caliban and Miranda are the two primary victims of this patriarchal society. One must also make a note of the motif of usurpation in the play and recognise its interesting implications.

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Shakespeare initiates a mood of danger and imagination from the off, as the play begins with the great tempest which threatens to bring the sailors to their doom. The tempest we also find out was the intention of Prospero rather than the will of nature thus immediately establishing Prospero as a character with unusual powers but with severe possibilities, this is highlighted by the juxtaposition of the pleading Miranda who says. This is not the only time in the play where she plays this role, when Ferdinand falls in love with Miranda Prospero treats him harshly and Miranda’s leaps to his defence while telling Ferdinand . Her we see the danger that Propero’s magic combined with his nature can prove too much for some. But there is more danger ahead as we shall see. The tempest also highlights Propero’s dual role in the action, both as man and as God. God called the tempest as they believe the other strange events that befall them later such as . But to the inhabitants of the island (Miranda, Arial, and Caliban) is an ordinary man.

Prospero uses this position to great effect i.e. to regain his dukedom, which was usurped by the travellers long ago. Shakespeare.

THe Tempest

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“All men are created equal” is one of the declarations that American culture is built on. This declaration means that all men no matter of race, religion, or creed are equals in the eyes of society, as well as the law. This was not always true in history, especially not in Shakespeares day and age. During this time, society had levels of classification where men were considered “superior” to other men. Shakespeare gives us a taste of this hierarchical culture through his play The Tempest. He shows us how “superior” men perceived themselves in contrast to lesser beings due to their race, financial status, and gender.We also are shown those who had reason to feel superior yet treated others equally and with the respect due to them.

The Tempest reflects Shakespeares society through the relationship between characters, especially between Prospero and Caliban. Caliban, who was the previous king of the island, is taught how to be “civilized” by Prospero and his daughter Miranda. Then he is forced to be their servant. Caliban explains “Thou strokst me and make much of me; wouldst give me Water with berries in t; and teach me how to name the bigger light, how the less, That burn by day and night; and then I lovd thee, And showd thee all the qualities o th isle,… For I am all the subjects you have, which first was mine own king.”(I,ii,334-354). We see he is treated as a lesser being because he is not of the same race as Prospero and Miranda. Prospero describes him as “A freckled whelp hag-born – not honourd with a human shape.”(I,ii,282-283) Clearly, the people of different races were treated as inferior human beings in Shakespeares time. In this culture, because someone is different, they are less of a human than you.

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Financial status also plays a major role in social classifications. During the time of The Tempest, Dukes and Earls, who were among the nobles, were considered to be superior even to other members of their own race. The nobles had servants and commoners who worked for them. Shakespeare shows us an example of this with the relationship between his characters of Sebastian and Antonio and of the Boatswain and the sailors. Sebastian yells at the sailors “A pox o your throat, you bawling, blasphemous, incharitable dog!”(I,i,40-41), implying that they are inferior and are there to serve him. Antonio also shows he believes himself superior by stating to the Boatswain “Hang, cur! Hang, you whoresom, insolent, noise-maker. We are less afraid to be drowned than thou art.”(I,i,43-45) These men were of the same skin color, hair texture, and eye color, but were treated inferior due to their financial status and “inferior” blood line.

Women had also fallen victim to this hierarchial society. During this era women were considered to be objects and were treated as property. Shakespeare presents this in the treatment of Claribel, daughter of Alonso, and Miranda by their fathers. Claribel was married of to the King of Tunis, an African nation, merely for the gain of Alonso, the Duke of Milan, and his Lords. Their feelings are clear in Sebastians words “Twas a sweet marriage, and we prosper well in our return.” (II,i,69). And for Miranda, Prospero show how he considers his only daughter as he states “Then, as my gift, and thine own acquisition Worthily purcasd, take my daughter…”(IV,i,13-14) She is obviously considered his property. Women did not have rights at this time and were merely used as pawns in trade with other men of stature to gain whatever it was they wished.

Not all men in the position to consider themselves superior thought themselves to be. Even though some men had the financial status or noble blood, they treated others equally and genuinely thought them equal. Ferdinand, although being the Prince of Naples, treats Miranda, who he thinks a mere maid, as an equal human being deserving nothing less than his affection and kindness. This is proven true in his conversation with Miranda where he tells her “O, if a virgin, And your affection not gone forth, Ill make you the Queen of Naples.”(I,ii,450-452). He loves her and would have her as his wife and Queen even though he thinks her a mere maid. Gonzalo also shows us his heart when he sees Ariel enter with the Boatswain and sailors. He refers to them as “here is more of us” (V,i,15) showing he considers the Boatswain and sailors his equal. In these two characters, Shakespeare is saying that not all men are egotistical and perceive themselves above others.

From being treated inferior, people start to believe themselves inferior. From being unjustly treated, Caliban thinks himself inferior to Prosperos race. When Stepheno and Triniculo arrived on the island, Caliban considered them superior beings even though they were mere servants themselves. They also thought themselves superior to Caliban because he was of a different race even though Caliban does prove to have a greater intellect than both Stepheno and Triniculo. We see their sense of superiority by how they refer to Caliban “Servant-Monster, drink to me”(III,ii,3). Caliban also shows us his acceptance of this treatment in his response “How do thy honour? Let me lick thy shoe…”(III,ii,22-23) and “Thou shalt be lord of it, and Ill serve thee”(III,ii,56). We see by this that Caliban truly believes himself inferior even though his own intellect surpasses that of Stepheno and Triniculo.

In todays society, treatment of inferiority is against the law and supposedly non-existent openly in society. We all know, however, that this hierarchial mind set still lurks around every corner in todays culture. It may not go as far as forcing someone to be your servant, but it lives in the form of discrimination and segregation. Because of many years of inferior treatment, many people feel they either can not succeed or that it will be more difficult for them than those of the “right” race or financial bracket. It is not that the people today feel inferior, its that they feel they will not get a fair chance. Its commonly believed that the people of “inferior” races or monetary status will get picked over for jobs or other discriminatory acts will be performed against them.

The two cultures are quite different, but they also have some slight similarities. Our culture is over three-hundred years older than that of Shakespeare, which should make our society more mature in its actions and attitude. We should have learned that all men truly are equal and should be treated accordingly. But all three-hundred years has taught us was how to be more discreet in our actions and feelings by giving them pretty names or keeping them out of the public eye. These two cultures may appear very different but actually are a lot closer than most of society would have us believe.

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: The Tempest

Magic, music, spirits and villains all exist in this romantic play by William
Shakespeare. The Tempest was one of Shakespeares last works, portraying a kind of
fairy tale complete with a good guy, a villain, and an uncomplicated love. Boyce refers to
the play as a stunning theatrical entertainment that is also a moral allegory of great
beauty and emotional power. (Shakespeare A to Z, pg. 632) This play was not only
attractive to the senses with all the magic and mystery, but it also displayed meaningful
themes and well developed characters.
Shakespeares life has never actually been fully accounted. There are still many
holes and mysteries about his life, but what we do know is often very helpful in analyzing
his many works. William was the son of John Shakespeare, a wealthy and responsible
man, and Mary Arden, the daughter of a distinguished Catholic family. He was educated,
although there are many rumors that say otherwise. Shakespeare married Anne
Hathaway at age eighteen, and five months later had the first of his three children. He
later traveled to London where he began his literary career. He bought a large estate at
Stratford, which he called New Place. In Stratford he continued to buy property, and
around 1610 he retired. His last complete play, The Tempest, was probably written in
1611.
Shakespeare wrote in the Elizabethan Age. The defeat of the Spanish Armada
raised English spirits high and they had an optimistic outlook on life. Shakespeare wrote
with much compassion and charm, giving hope for the human condition. He was a
romantic poet, telling stories we wished our life could be like. In The Tempest there is
the glorified hero, or the good guy, Prospero, and there is the bad guy, Antonio. With
romanticism, the good guy always wins. Prospero obtains his rightful position as duke,
and Antonio loses. The people living in the Elizabethan Age could read these stories and
would have a better outlook on life.
The Tempest begins with a ship being tossed by a frantic storm at sea. Prospero,
the former Duke of Milan, had entrusted the management of his dukedom to his brother,
Antonio and in return Antonio seized power. With the help of Alonso, the King of
Naples, Antonio took over and cast off Prospero with his daughter, Miranda. Prospero
and Miranda had been living on an island for twelve years, away from their home, when
by a strange accident all of Prosperos enemies were brought together on one ship.
Prospero, who has learned magic, creates the storm and threatens the ship. With the help
of Ariel, his servant, Prospero continues to ruse his brother and the rest of the men.
Ariel brings Ferdinand, the Prince of Naples, to Miranda and they fall in love. In the
meantime the royal party continues to look for the prince, believing he is dead. Prospero
finally releases the men from their state of imprisonment, and receives his rightful
position back.
Shakespeare writes with a unique style in The Tempest. It is written in iambic
pentameter, although, because it was his last complete play, he was beginning to stray
from the usual pattern. The play is divided into five acts, but actually takes place in only
one afternoon. This short time span is not usual for Shakespeare, as well as the use of
only one scene.
In The Tempest, Shakespeare develops the characters very well. They all have
strong personalities as well as representations. The primary action is always centered
around the one main character, Prospero. He shows wisdom, justice and good judgment.
He is willing to forgive his brother and the other conspirators. Although he is a very
Slagter, 3
benevolent man, this often contradicts with his cruelty and short temper. He continues to
let Gonzalo suffer even though he was the man that truly saved his life. Not only does he
do this, but he also lets his own daughter believe that he hates the man she is in love
with.
Antonio is the character Shakespeare develops into the villain of the play. He
was the brother who stole Prosperos position as the duke of Milan. Prospero trusted him
and he took advantage of

The Tempest

In Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, the cast of characters are squeezed into
some archetypal roles. Prospero is our noble hero, Miranda is the beautiful
maiden, Antonio is the “villain”. Shakespeare gave each of the characters
a sense of humor, a tool that allows us to see the subtle details of their
minds; a glimpse at the inner workings of each character’s personality. It
is through the humor that Shakespeare employs , that we are able to see
“roundness” in characters that could be otherwise doomed to exist as “flat”
characters. Shakespeare uses humor to give his players new life, to help
them expand beyond the bounds off mere characters and turn into real
people.

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Through including contradictory statements, irony, and comedy in the story,
Paredes displays his ability to utilize tone in order to construct a
complex work with pure grace.

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