The Tempest Introduction Essay

Essay on William Shakespeare: The Tempest

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William Shakespeare: The Tempest How is fate used by Shakespeare, in the Tempest, to change and control the range of characters, using Prospero’s power and his magic?

In Literature, Destiny or Fate is a source of irony in literature; where the characters may act without realising the destiny that the audience or reader is aware of. This is very much true to that of the plot in the Tempest. Shakespeare has used Prospero’s craft of magic, his great source of power, to influence and change the fates of other characters in the play; for personal gain or for the good of others. His personal gain is seen by his plan to use his power and magic for his vengeance against his brother Antonio, whom usurped…show more content…

We are then introduced to Ariel, a magical spirit in service to Prospero, who has obeyed Prospero’s commands to separate Alonso’s ship from the rest of the fleet, causing them to believe that the king and his party had drowned. He has frightened the courtiers so that they have abandoned ship. He has seen to it essentially that each one of them is safe and that they are merely split up, confused and weariless. In particular this of Alonso’s son, Ferdinand, is alone as instructed by Prospero to Ariel.

This passage comes from the second scene of the first act and is significant in introducing the audience to the island and its dwellers. Prospero’s power is stressed and perhaps the audience is encouraged to think of Prospero as a godlike figure, whose power one admires but whose actions are not always understood.

Power is certainly thematic in the play, whether it is the power of the elements or Prospero’s control of them. It is possible that Shakespeare is questioning the use or value of political power.

Love, in its many forms, is thematic in The Tempest. This scene reveals the falling in love and the development of love between Miranda and Ferdinand, shown in their kindness to each other and their willingness to suffer for each other; as well as the love of a father for a daughter; and the interrelationship

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Tempest Resources

Please see the main Tempest page for the complete play with explanatory notes and study questions.

 Examination Questions and Answers on The Tempest
 Themes in The Tempest: Reality, Thought, Imagination
 Forgiveness and Reconciliation in The Tempest
 The Tempest and A Midsummer Night's Dream

 Magic, Books, and the Supernatural in The Tempest
 The Tempest: A Marriage Play?
 Introduction to Prospero
 Introduction to Miranda

 Introduction to Caliban
 Introduction to Ariel
 Introduction to Sycorax
 Staging The Tempest

 The Contrast Between Ariel and Caliban in Shakespeare's Tempest
 The Relationship Between Miranda and Ferdinand
 The Tempest: Stages of Plot Development
 Exploring the Nature of Shakespearean Comedy

 Blank Verse, Prose, and Diction in Shakespeare's Tempest
 How to Pronounce the Names in The Tempest
 The Tempest: Plot Summary

 Famous Quotations from The Tempest
 Shakespeare's Sources for The Tempest
 Shakespeare's Blank Verse
 Top 10 Shakespeare Plays

 Elements of Comedy
 How many plays did Shakespeare write?
 Shakespeare's Attention to Details

 Shakespeare's Portrayals of Sleep
 Quotations About William Shakespeare
 Why Shakespeare is so Important

 Shakespeare's Language
 Shakespeare's Boss: The Master of Revels
 A Midsummer Night's Dream: Exam Questions and Answers

Points to Ponder

"The Tempest was written as a farewell to art and the artist's life, just before the completion of his forty-ninth year, and everything in the play bespeaks the touch of autumn. The scenery is autumnal throughout, and the time is that of the autumn equinox with its storms and shipwrecks. With noticeable care all the plants named even those occurring merely in similes, are such flowers and fruit, etc., as appear in the fall of the year in a northern landscape. The climate is harsh and northerly in spite of the southern situation of the island and the southern names. Even the utterances of the goddesses, the blessing of Ceres, for example, show that the season is late September — thus answering to Shakespeare's time of life and frame of mind." George Brandes. Read on...


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