Isolation of the Individual in Society in The Tempest

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Isolation of the Individual in Society in The Tempest In William Shakespeare's play, The Tempest, characters such as Caliban, Prospero, Miranda and Ferdinand, experience varying degrees of consequences, due to their change in behaviour, while isolated from society. Although isolation from society affects the characters in different ways, some see it as being advantageous while others see it as being a curse. This essay will show how characters in The Tempest suffer consequences due to their isolation from society. Caliban is possibly the only character in The Tempest who is not originally affected by his isolation from society. Caliban is the only character that is native to the island and he was utterly alone on the island until Prospero and Miranda were banished to the very same island. It was when the latter arrived that Caliban was exposed to people for the first time in his life. Prospero and Miranda taught Caliban to read, speak, and how to behave in the same way as them ( Miranda: Being capable of ill! I pitied thee, Took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each hour One thing or other. When thou didst not, savage, Know thine own meaning, but wouldst gabble like A thing most brutish, I endowed thy purposes With words that made them known. But thy vile race, Though thou didst learn, had that in't which good natures Could not abide to be with. Therefore wast thou Deservedly confined into this rock, who hadst Deserved more than a prison. (Shakespeare 77) However, it is because of the 'educating' of Caliban that he realises how different he is compared to Prospero and Miranda.... ... middle of paper ... ...heir situation. None of them chose to be isolated from society, yet that became the situation they found themselves in. All the characters suffered one consequence or other due to their isolation from society and their own secret desires which only became evident when in an isolated situation. In isolation, a person's character changes, and this is due to how each of the characters handle the position they find themselves in. Bibliography: 1. Shober, Dianne. "The Tempest" English Literature Manuel. Department of English. UFH East London Campus, Semester 2, 2004. 2. Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. England: Penguin Group, 1968 3. Sparknotes. "Plot Overview" and "Analysis of Major Characters" available at [accessed on 15 August 2004]
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