In Shakespeare's, The Tempest, the character Prospero is in many ways similar to Shakespeare himself at the time he wrote the play. Prospero, having entertained himself with his magic for most of his life, now gives up his powers as he seems to understand that his magic is no more and no less than life itself : it is just as transitory and hollow. This seems to reflect on Shakespeare's attitude toward play writing. Having spent his life writing plays and being entertained by his own employment, Shakespeare finds that his plays, while they explore the themes of life and relationship, are finally no more meaningful than life itself seems to a man who must have been feeling his mortality. The Tempest is Shakespeare's resignation speech. Having found that his 'magic' has failed him, Shakespeare is retiring to the real world, for if nothing of meaning is to be gained in play writing, then all that is left is to be human.
First, look at Prospero's final decision in the play. He is capable of returning to Milan and ruling it while keeping his magical power - he does not have to choose between the two - and he abandons his power. Just as Shakespeare was not forced to quit writing, Prospero is not forced to abandon his magic. In addition, Shakespeare specifically has Prospero tell us : "My charms crack not, my spirits obey, ..." ( V.i 2 ). Shakespeare means to tell the audience he is not quitting because his ability as a writer is lessening at all, but specifically tells us through Prospero that he is at his peak and is completely in command of his art. There is no other obvious thematic or plot-development reason why Prospero should specifically ...
... middle of paper ...
...total lack of morality, or Hotspur's view of absolute honor, had some doubt to it, or could be thought of differently. Prospero's argument here is irrefutable. Nothing he presents is in any way 'iffy' or doubtable. This is Shakespeare's final conclusion : plays, like life, fade into nothing, and nothing is left worth doing but to be what we are: human, and mortal.
Works Cited and Consulted:
Bloom, Harold. Modern Critical Interpretations: William Shakespeare's The Tempest. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1997.
Davidson, Frank. "The Tempest: An Interpretation." In The Tempest: A Casebook. Ed. D.J. Palmer. London: Macmillan & Co. Ltd., 1968. 225.
Shakespeare, William, 1998. The Tempest. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1998
Webster, Margaret. Shakespeare Without Tears. Greenwich: Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1996.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- William Shakespeare is often considered to be the greatest playwright in the history of the Western world. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Shakespeare wrote and directed performances of his plays at the Globe Theatre, which continue to be performed around the world to this day. As technology advanced, different renditions of Shakespeare’s plays have been put on, from televised recordings to radio shows to film adaptations. Many of Shakespeare’s popular plays such as Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, and A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream have been adapted into films in recent years.... [tags: The Tempest, William Shakespeare, Djimon Hounsou]
1300 words (3.7 pages)
- The Tempest: Immortal Classic or Tired and Dated Work. Why do educators hold the works of Shakespeare in such high regard. Should The Tempest be considered an "immortal classic". Indeed Shakespeare's works had great significance in the evolution of English literature, but these works, including The Tempest are mostly devoid of significance and literary value in the present day. One can expect to gain little appreciation for fine literature from the reading of Shakespeare's works for reasons enumerate.... [tags: Shakespeare Tempest]
1045 words (3 pages)
- A Jungian Interpretation of the Tempest Shakespeare’s Tempest lends itself to many different levels of meaning and interpretation. The play can be seen on a realistic plane as a tale of political power and social responsibility. It can be seen as allegory examining the growth of the human spirit. The Tempest investigates marriage, love, culture. It is symbolic of man’s rational higher instincts verses his animal natural tendencies. This is a play of repentance, power, revenge and fate that can also be seen as fantasy, dream, imagination, metaphor or magic.... [tags: Shakespeare The Tempest]
2401 words (6.9 pages)
- Caliban is one of the primary antagonists in William Shakespeare's play The Tempest. It is impossible to understand the Tempest without first understanding the character of Caliban. Through the exploration of the character of Caliban the reader gains an understanding of his importance within the play and that he is simply not just black and white, there is also a great deal of grey. It is the characters ambiguity that enables him to be human inside although appearing bestial on the outside. Caliban is a great example of a character being much more than one dimensional, almost to the point of being nearly a real person.... [tags: Essays on Shakespeare's Tempest]
1835 words (5.2 pages)
- No Critique of European Colonization in The Tempest Since the 1960s, several critics have found a critique of colonialism in their respective readings of Shakespeare's The Tempest. The most radical of these analyses takes Prospero to be a European invader of the magical but primitive land that he comes to rule, using his superior knowledge to enslave its original inhabitants, most notably Caliban, and forcing them to do his bidding. While the textual clues concerning the geographic location of Prospero's island are ambiguous and vague, there is a prominent references to the "Bermoothes." We know that shortly before he wrote his final play, Shakespeare read a contemporary travel accoun... [tags: Tempest Shakespeare Colonialism]
1295 words (3.7 pages)
- The Tempest the Play by William Shakespeare Ruler’s in general face many problems, as is the nature of having power and authority. However rulers like Prospero face even more difficulties, as Prospero has the ultimate power of magic and can control and manipulate people and their actions, more so than a natural ruler. The first difficulty presented is an issue, which is dealt with throughout the play: the idea of how much or how little to intervene. From the beginning of the play we are told of how and why Prospero is usurped from his dukedom, “I thus neglecting worldly ends, all dedicated/ To closeness, and the bettering of my mind/ With that which, but by being so retired, O’er-prized all... [tags: Tempest William Shakespeare Essays]
1262 words (3.6 pages)
- Post Colonial Interpretations of Shakespeare’s The Tempest “…do we really expect, amidst this ruin and undoing of our life, that any is yet left a free and uncorrupted judge of great things and things which reads to eternity; and that we are not downright bribed by our desire to better ourselves?” – Longinus Since the seventeenth century many interpretations and criticisms of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest have been recorded. Yet, since the play is widely symbolical and allegorical Shakespeare’s actual intentions behind the creation of the play can never be revealed.... [tags: Shakespeare Tempest]
1910 words (5.5 pages)
- The Tempest as Microcosm of Society The Tempest is one of Shakespeare's most universal plays and, not coincidentally, is very much concerned with human behavior and emotion. As John Wilders observes in The Lost Garden, “Prospero’s island is what the sociologists call a ‘model’ of human society. Its cast of characters allows Shakespeare to portray in microcosm nearly all the basic, fundamental social relationships: those of a ruler to his territory, a governor to his subjects, a father to his child, masters to servants, male to female, and the rational to the irrational within the human microcosm itself" ([London: Macmillan Press Ltd., 1978], 127).... [tags: Shakespeare The Tempest]
1254 words (3.6 pages)
- The Importance of Caliban in William Shakespeare's The Tempest 'This thing of darkness, I must acknowledge mine.' Although many seem baffled by Shakespeare's The Tempest, the plot is not the target to be deciphered. We understand The Tempest through understanding the character of Caliban. Many works highlight the virtuous side of human nature, failing to acknowledge the darkness that lives within the hearts of all. The Tempest is not one of these works. This story realizes that it is impossible to have the good aspect of human nature without the bad.... [tags: Tempest essays Shakespeare ]
1814 words (5.2 pages)
- Shakespeare does not present us the perfect ruler immediately. Instead, he develops Prospero from a basically good, but flawed man, to one who, although retaining some vanity and therefore is not perfect, will certainly act in a manner befitting an ideal leader. Prospero's character is portrayed as entirely good throughout the play, using his magic only to achieve positive ends such as education. He is one with his environment as he has developed superior intellectual powers, now realizing that he marked himself to be ousted by his distance from everyday affairs.... [tags: Tempest Shakespeare]
1107 words (3.2 pages)