The Tempest Film Analysis

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The Tempest by Shakespeare is a play about a king, Prospero, and his daughter, Miranda, and their exile from their kingdom. They have been betrayed by fellow kin and allies and forced to find refuge at an enchanted island (Shakespeare). With the help of a magical being named Ariel, Prospero attempts to take revenge against those who betrayed him and his daughter (Shakespeare). In Act I scene II of the play, Prospero and Miranda confront Caliban who is their servant on the island (Shakespeare). This same scene is illustrated in a painting called The Enchanted Island, Before the Cell of Prospero by the artist, Henry Fuseli. Through the placement of the characters and the intricate details of the setting in the painting, Fuseli accurately portrays…show more content…
Ultimately, the adaptation of Act I scene II into a painting allows the depiction of the play to become more concrete and comprehensible. The format in Fuseli’s painting mirrors the character interaction in the play. In Act I Scene II, Prospero and Miranda face Caliban. It is in this scene that Prospero calls upon his “poisonous slave,” Caliban, to “come forth” (Shakespeare line 319-320). The characters’ position in the painting reflects their attitude and dialogue in the scene. Fuseli presents Caliban facing Prospero with a fearful expression and his fist up as if to defend himself. Across from Caliban, Prospero is illustrated pointing his hand towards Caliban (P. Simon and Henry Fuseli). Where they are standing establishes the same relationship that Prospero and Caliban have with each other in the play. Prospero’s position in the center of the painting also represents that he is the center of attention. As a result, the painting accurately introduces Prospero as a figure who “controls the narrative and the other characters,” such as Miranda, Ariel, and Caliban (Thompson). Although there are no specifications to where Miranda is standing in the text, Fuseli captures the essence of her character through her location in the painting behind Prospero. Shakespeare provides Miranda with
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