The Tempest Essay Research Paper The Tempest 2 — страница 5

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bend Milan “to most ignoble stooping”. It is obvious that Prospero was not conscious of what Antonio was doing and so, we, the sympathetic listeners feel for him although we know that he is partly at fault for his downfall. Prospero’s anger and feelings of vengeance is understandable but we know that “there’s no harm done”. At the same time, as we listen to the usurped fling charge after charge at the amoral usurper like the sea waves beating relentlessly at the “yellow sands”, Shakespeare questions the Prospero’s usurpation of the “creatures” of the island — Caliban and Ariel. We find out later that the powerful mage subjects the “most delicate monster”, Caliban to “most ignoble stooping” and even the “fine apparition”, Ariel is not spared

from the magic of Prospero who has him at his beck and call. They cry for liberty but do they receive it from the usurped “master”? This is another of the important ideas raised in the play. Miranda listens attentively to her father as he relives how he had placed his trust mistakenly on Antonio, “like a good parent” and how it “beget of him a falsehood in its contrary”. “He needs will be absolute Milan.” This convoluted image reminds us of how the unknowing Caliban had placed his trust and “loved thee and showed thee all the qualities o’ th’ isle.” The situation of Prospero “twelve year since” mirrors that of the “abhorred slave”, Caliban. Meanwhile, it also presents Antonio and Prospero as complex political creatures surviving in the

“realism” of politics. The usurped did not refrain from usurping others in a different place and time. Here, we see the men as truly brothers because they are alike in their usurpation. The only difference lies in Prospero’s benevolence in his decision towards reconciliation. We are given enough to be sure that Antonio will never consider the very idea because he “made a sinner of his own memory”. The man created and shaped his own reality to suit his means and this is another recurring motif in the play. We have seen how the people are unable to see through the illusion of the “tempest” and sometimes, they just do not understand their own reality because they do not want to see it. Prospero has made use of that weakness to “recover” his dukedom as he brings the

plotters, Antonio, Sebastian and Alonso to the island for a lesson. We will meet the king of Naples who despairs of ever finding his beloved son, Ferdinand after The Tempest and refuses to entertain the hope of seeing him again but we know he does in the end. Power, “all prerogative” had gone into the plotters’ heads and this veils the actual reality to become another reality in the mind. We encounter another motif in the play, that of fathers. We know that although the fathers (Prospero and Antonio) are enemies, they will forget their differences in the union of their child (Ferdinand and Miranda) eventually. This tale that “would cure deafness” is the stepping stone of the entire play and we are presented with a multi-faceted Prospero — the magician who usurps, the

wronged who was usurped, the avenger, the father, the master, the duke. Can we really define him? Shakespeare leaves that intriguing thought in our minds as we take leave of this account full of “imagistic” qualities and themes. The Tempest, written in 1611, was one of William Shakespeare’s last plays. It has a combination of superb characters, interesting settings, and a good plot line—all held together by the running theme of magic, and its ever-present importance. A closer examination of the magic in The Tempest, and the public’s view of magic at the time, will give insight as to Shakespeare’s choice of magic as a theme, and why it has made the play so successful and timeless. Magic presented itself to Shakespeare as a controversial topic, as it had been the

persecution of those believed to perform “black magic,” (witches) that had been at the forefront of societal concerns since 1050. However, after 500 years of witch-hunts, a turning point occurred in 1584, at the publication of Reginald Scot’s The Discouerie of Witchcrafte (The Discovery of Witchcraft). This book was the first major book to denounce witch-hunts and their ringleaders, and unquestionable the first book in English to actually hypothesize about the methods of these so-called witches. It contained one chapter of approximately twenty pages describing what we might view as unsophisticated, old-time magic tricks. One would assume that it was this text, and texts succeeding this (The Art of Juggling, written by Samuel Ridd in 1610 also presented a few how-to’s of