Sean O’Brien English 339-03 5-28-14 William Shakespeare’s The Tempest A Critical Analysis of Acts 1 and 2 In William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, a number of themes arise which both agree with and contrast with his other works. The first theme we encounter that fills both of these roles is the mystical nature of numerous elements in the play. Like the three sister witches and Hecate, the goddess of Witchcraft, through their overall control or very persuasive influence they shape the outcomes of many characters in the play. Similarly, a supernatural being controls the storm which wreaks havoc on King Alonso and his men. Further convincing us that this storm is completely out of their control, the boatswain mocks Gonzalo saying that even king’s advisors cannot “command these elements to silence.” This parallels Macbeth and many of Shakespeare’s other works where the characters believe that Lady Fortune is responsible for happenings in the play.
When they make Prospero real in their minds, they can live the life of Prospero on the island or in Naples. It is up to the audience where he is to go and what life he lives, this is the magic of the play. Magic can alter the reality and perspective how one looks at life. In the Tempest, Prospero has the ability to cast spells that alter one's perspective of reality. One may say that reality is intangible, but one can grasp the concept of what is stands for.
Thus, Prospero’s self-centered attitude as seen through his control over spirits is rooted in his magical abilities. Moreover, Prospero uses illusions to control others, thereby furthering his own plans. Upon creating the tempest, he tells Miranda, “I have… so safely ordered that there is no soul… Betid to any creature” (1.1.26-29). He believes that his assurances of the shipwreck’s safety serve as justification for the creation of the tempest, which forced all the people on the ship onto the island. Prospero does not show any consideration towards the people on the boat, even those whom he did not want to enact his revenge upon.
Within these stories Shakespeare shows the true nature of love and forgiveness – a never ending battle. In his two stories his plot contains the variable characters within his stories. The changeability of the character’s personalities leads each story to the best endings. However, the way each story uses this variable changes the outcome throughout these plays. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream the interference of the fairies problems intertwines with the plot of that of the majority of the characters.
Instead of supporting the king’s views of being ‘God’ he staged something that presented power as unpredictable and easily lost. In fact, by challenging the Elizabethan hierarchy Shakespeare has given an indirect warning of the dangers that may face the king. Nevertheless, we know that even on the island there is a hierarchy, which comprises of Prospero being superior and Caliban being inferior. How characters gain and loose authority in ‘The Tempest’ is seen as being very transient. The authority the characters have is not set in stone nor will they have it forever.
Just because the fence killed another knight did not mean it would kill them too, magic is unpredicable, like god. It was their duty to siege the fence or to die trying no matter what the odds might be. It is evident by the end of the text that Hank failed in his dream of “civilizing” Camelot because he failed to change the accepted paradigm. He wished to bring technology to the people, but he only succeeded in bringing them a new magic that was as unpredictable as the rest of their lives. Works Cited George, Roger.
They’re under my control, and I’m keeping them in their crazy fits” (Shakespeare 143). By entrancing the men from the boat, Prospero can keep them under his bid until he sets himself on a course of action. As he states, “.., my enemies have happened to wreck their ship on this island. As I see it, my fate hangs on this lucky event”, he must be precise in how he handles cultivates these people or he will risk the possibility of his plan unraveling before him (Shakespeare 27). The idea behind him having magic is to set him apart
1. Magic affects both the plot and the environment of William Shakespeare’s play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” as it influences the thoughts and actions of the characters through most of the play. Through its power, magic confuses the characters and creates conflicts between them, but it also solves the conflicts. The character’s use and misuse of magic lead to some of the ridiculous moment of the play. 2.
Here, the reader (or viewer) realizes that it takes place entirely in Prospero's cell which is a small room where he practices his magic arts. Miranda here asks her father, Prospero, to make sure that the people on the ship will be safe even though he has created a storm which threatens to capsize their boat and drown them all. Prospero reassures her. He says that he has no intention of allowing the people to die. To reassure her further, he continues by explaining his motives in creating the storm.
This situation along with the terrified emotions of the characters appears to the reader to be very real. However, in the second scene, the reader meets Prospero and his daughter Miranda. Through their conversation we learn of Prospero's magical powers, his brother's unjust claim as the Duke of Milan, and the exile of the two to this mysterious island. Next unveiled is Prospero's plot of revenge to regain his rightful title, the first step being to shipwreck the royal party on his island with the creation of the magical tempest. The reality of the situation is that there never was any danger from the storm at all.