The Genre of The Tempest

962 Words4 Pages
The Genre of The Tempest The Tempest is customarily identified as the William Shakespeare's last piece. These marginal issues aside, The Tempest is the forth, final and finest of Shakespeare's great and/or late romances. Along with Pericles, Cymbeline and The Winters Tale, The Tempest belongs t the genre of Elizabethan romance plays. It combines elements of Tragedy (Prospero's revenge/Loss of a royal son) with those of romantic comedy (the young lover Ferdinand and Miranda) and, like one of Shakespeare's problem plays, Measure for measure, it poses deeper questions that are not completely resolved at the end. The romantic gesture is distinguished by the inclusion (and synthesis) of these tragic, comic, and problematic ingredients, and further marked by a happy ending(usually concluding in a masque or dance) in which all, or most, of the characters are brought into harmony. The term romance is given to the comedies written at the end of Shakespeare's career. Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winters Tale and the Tempest. They were written between 1608 and 1612 and are different in style to his earlier comedies. Whilst love and marriage are they key themes in these plays, they focus primarily on the separations and reunions of families and culminate in homecomings, reconciliation's, rebirth and redemption. The romances are, characteristically, set in mythical worlds, and include elements from myths and fairy tales. For example: Long journey, Sea journeys, shipwrecks, storms, magic, lost or stolen children, a wicked/evil family member. The romances were heavily influenced by court masques, lavish entertainment consisting of song , dance,... ... middle of paper ... ...so be seen to embody regeneration and spiritual development, for through his magic he brings about the repentance of Antonio and Alonso, and the marriage which is to achieve the regeneration. Through Prospero also, the disparate styles are united. He is the symbolic figure in which the tragic events are rooted, for he is both victim of revenge tragedy and the hero who suffered from a fatal flaw. So too is he the instigator of the play's romance. With his magic wand we find he has caused the shipwreck of the first act, which initially seemed to be rooted in realism. The mixture of styles in both plays are, then, successfully combined. They work together to produce a unified whole; separately and collectively combing to 'exert [an] energy' which enhances and balances the moral message of Shakespeare's last plays.
Open Document