Shakespeare's play, The Tempest tells the story of a father, Prospero, who must let go of his daughter; who brings his enemies under his power only to release them; and who in turn finally relinquishes his sway over his world - including his power over nature itself. The Tempest contains elements ripe for tragedy: Prospero is a controlling figure bent on taking revenge for the wrongs done to him, and in his fury he has the potential to destroy not only his enemies, but his own humanity and his daughter's future.
Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. The Norton Shakespeare. Ed. Greenblatt, Stephen. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. Inc., 1997.
The Tempest by William Shakespeare is one of the most relevant and studied plays of the Elizabethan period among scholars, from both, ancient and actual times. One of the many readings that have prevailed suggests that the play’s protagonist, Prospero, and his two su-pernatural servants, Ariel and Caliban, can work as a single psychological unit is constantly discussed by the academics. This reading is not new; it has been considered for longer than the idea of The Tempest as an autobiographical allegory, being first proposed by Thomas Campbell in 1838 (Yachnin).
The fact that Shakespeare was enveloped by a society steeped in Christian ideals cannot be disputed. Plays such as the Tempest make this fact known. The main plot and the subplots of the Tempest can be extracted directly from the Bible. Prospero's character is largely the same as the god found in Christianity. Shakespeare wrote the Tempest with the portrayal of a Christian god and Christian motifs in mind. Consider the following facts as evidence. Both works begin with gods who possess power in the forms of words or books, and both gods use the written power to create. The power of the gods is mainly "white magic", a magic which attempts to bring about a good end. The creations later become a facet for manipulation for the creators' magic. The repressed creations rebel, causing the gods to become vengeful. After remorse caused from the rage, the gods sit back and give subjects control of their lives. This pattern is followed by both Prospero and the Christian god.
Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. The Norton Shakespeare: Based on the Oxford Edition. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt, Walter Cohen, Jean E. Howard and Katharine Eisaman Maus. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1997. 3055-3107.
Nesbit, E.. "The Tempest." The Best of Shakespeare: Retellings of 10 Classic Plays. Oxford University Press, 1997. n.pag. eLibrary. Web.
The Tempest is a play that serves as a window into what it was like during the Age of Exploration as well as what encounters between the old and new world were like. Through Shakespeare’s characters it is evident what interactions between Europeans and natives were like during this time, as well as what society thought of such experiences.
Novak, Maximillian, and George R. Guffey, eds. The Tempest, or The Enchanted Island. Works of John Dryden vol. X. Berkeley: U of California P, 1970. 1-103.
In Shakespeare’s play, "The Tempest," an underlying theme of barbarism versus civilization appears. Shakespeare creates characters that exemplify symbols of nature or nurture. The symbolism of the characters is derived from their actions. These actions show Shakespeare’s view of the uncivilized and the civilized, as well as help the reader develop his own opinion of each side.