The Tempest Essay Research Paper The Tempest 2 — страница 2

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weak or non-existent. Through this, we can see that Shakespeare incorporated elements of the masque into that of his conventional plays, producing a play that can be well-regarded in both respects. The Tempest contains certain antimasque elements, such as the conspiracies for murder. Antonio and Sebastian prove that even with all the benefits of noble birth and civilised education, evil men can be produced. This is against traditional masque ideas of nobility. Antonio’s act of usurping Prospero, and their intention to murder Alonso and usurp his throne, give the play tragic elements as well, as they value their personal benefits over those of society. The mock court party also has antimasque qualities, as the rough humour of their folly in attempting to be rulers tickles us in

a base way. However, their intent to murder Prospero also presents a dark side of the play, and Caliban is a base, dull, uncivilised brute rather than the innocent and noble natural [nice] man of Spenser. The fact that he can appreciate the music while many of the people from civilisation cannot points to the fact that he does have a degree of the purity which is destroyed by civilisation, but otherwise, we are little inclined to admire him. The struggle of Prospero to assert his reason over his passion, planning for the future rather than succumbing to his temptations for revenge, are also against the idea of the masque. Prospero, as the central character, has little to do with the elements of the masque at all, as the main concern of the plot is his education of the people on

the island and his own education as a result of this. Thus, it would be impossible to claim that The Tempest is a masque, but possible to claim it has much to owe the masque. It is a masque to the limited extent that it contains most of the elements of the masque, but this is transcended by the fact that it contains much more that is not, making it a better and more profound play. —- In The Tempest, it would seem that no two characters could be further apart than Prospero, the “right duke of Milan”, and Caliban, the “salvage and deformed slave.” They represent two different extremes on the social spectrum: that of the natural ruler, and the naturally ruled. Their positions on the social hierarchy are largely due to the fact that Caliban responds almost wholly to

passions, feelings of pleasure — his senses, while Prospero is ruled more by his intellect and self-discipline — his mind. However, the fight that Prospero has against his own natural tendency to ignore the discipline of his intellect, and give in to pleasures such as vanity and self-indulgence, cannot be ignored. Caliban was born of a witch; Prospero is a magician. However, the types of magic practised by Sycorax and Prospero differ greatly: Sycorax, in many respects a traditional witch, worked within Nature and as a part of it. She worked with devils and the lowest orders of spirits. Prospero, on the other hand, exercises his magic by means of strict discipline and study, rising above the natural order by means of his greater knowledge, and actually coercing spirits of a

fairly high rank, such as Ariel, to do his bidding and control other spirits for him. In the Arts which both represent, Prospero certainly reflects the world of the mind. [And Sycorax does not?] However, in the use of his Art, Prospero reveals himself as not wholly disciplined. [okay] Prospero enjoys using the power of his Art, as he tells us in his monologue just before his forgiveness of the court party — “graves at my command … op’d … By my so potent Art.” He has also shown that he enjoys using it to show off, as he did during the masque he provided for Ferdinand and Miranda, which he indulged in even when Caliban’s plot and the court party both urgently required his attention. Although we are not given details of Caliban’s birth, it seems likely that a

creature as subhuman in appearance as Caliban was not born of a human union. It has been postulated that, to quote Prospero, he was “got by the devil himself upon thy wicked dam”, from a union between Sycorax and an incubus (an extremely attractive male apparition with intention to tempt). Caliban was therefore a creature born from passion, the offspring of an unholy pleasure. Prospero was not only of noble birth; he was also born to be the ruler of the city-state of Milan. Nobility, in Elizabethan times, carried with it heavy implications: it was expected that Prospero would be intellectually superior, and that he would exercise as great discipline over himself as he was expected to exercise over others, in his role of leadership. From their ancestry, Prospero is likely to