The Genre of The Tempest Essay

The Genre of The Tempest Essay

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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.

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