The Theme of Usurpation in The Tempest by William Shakespeare Essay

The Theme of Usurpation in The Tempest by William Shakespeare Essay

Length: 1651 words (4.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Theme of Usurpation in The Tempest by William Shakespeare

The Tempest is a late romance, which is a mixture of comedy and
tragedy and during the play Shakespeare puts across his Church of
England views on usurpation.

Before we discuss how Shakespeare ensures that the theme of usurpation
and its consequences runs throughout The Tempest, we need to define
the meaning of the term usurpation. Usurpation is when someone
wrongfully seizes/assumes the power or the throne. An example of
usurpation was when Napoleon usurped/seized the power from Louis XVI.

The main plot of the play is to do with Prospero seeking revenge on
his brother for taking his place as the Duke of Milan and leaving him
and his daughter Miranda adrift in a boat to die. Prospero wants order
to be restored and for him to be back as the Duke of Milan.

During the play there are also two subplots involving a couple of
people wanting to usurp the King of Naples and a group of three people
wishing to usurp Prospero.

Some aspects of the idea of usurpation occurs in nearly every scene in
the Shakespeare's play "The Tempest" The theme also occurs in a verity
of different circumstances and between different groups of people all
wanting to overthrow the rightful person for there own benefit. The
main way that Shakespeare has ensured that the theme of usurpation
runs throughout the play is through repetition.

The first usurpation's started way before the play began. For example
his own brother Antonio usurped Prospero the rightful Duke of Milan;
also Prospero usurped the island from Caliban for when Sycorax his
mother died the island became his. There is proof of thi...


... middle of paper ...


... that if he were king there would be no
king.

If there were no king the country would be in chaos for there would be
no one to stop power hungry men from taking over and ruling
themselves, there would be no one to protect the country from war, a
civil war would almost immediately brake out between those who want to
rule the country and there would be nobody to say what's right and
what's wrong.

Overall the play has very traditional and Christian values for example
there is and empathises on the chain of being and that Machiavelli's
idea is completely wrong. Also the Christian view of forgiveness is
also empathised in the play through Prospero when he forgives his
brothers wrong doings although his brother did not apologise and was
not sorry.

The play ended with order being restored just like in a tragedy.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Tempest the Play by William Shakespeare Essay

- 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]

Strong Essays
1262 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on The Tempest By William Shakespeare

- “The Tempest” The Tempest is a play written by William Shakespeare, and has the main themes of Power, Control, Betrayl, Forgiveness and revenge. When Shakespeare says “Farewell master” this makes the reader believe that Caliban is a slave mainly due to the vocabulary choice of “Master” as the connotations of this word are: powerless, being ruled, weak, and scared, This influences the initial idea that Caliban is powerless and weak. In addition to this Caliban continues to take Prospero’s commands seriously and mannerly mainly because of Prospero’s use of magic to take advantage of Caliban....   [tags: The Tempest, Moons of Uranus, Prospero]

Strong Essays
1132 words (3.2 pages)

Exploring the Themes of Forgiveness and Reconciliation in The Tempest by William Shakespeare

- Exploring the Themes of Forgiveness and Reconciliation in The Tempest by William Shakespeare Prospero is a character that seems to stand at the very centre of The Tempest. Throughout the play, he prompts most of the action, and he has the last word. The entire plot of the play is a scheme designed by Prospero to bring his rivals to a state of regret so that he can pardon them and restore the rightful order of things to his dukedom of Milan. As Prospero is seen as being all-powerful over the island, he could easily destroy or punish his enemies by any method or means....   [tags: Tempest William Shakespeare Essays]

Strong Essays
1407 words (4 pages)

William Shakespeare 's The Tempest Essay

- ... Unlike Rosalind from As You Like It, Miranda is not the influential lady in the play. Second characteristics of Shakespearian play is that the plays consist of the elements of separation and reunification. For example, in The Tempest, Duke Prospero is deceived by his brother and thus he gets separated from his kingdom and forced to live on an alien island. Like Duke Prospero, Ferdinand is also separated from his father and his friends by Ariel planned by Prospero. In the end of the play, everyone gets whatever they have lost....   [tags: The Tempest, Moons of Uranus, Deception]

Strong Essays
867 words (2.5 pages)

The Tempest, By William Shakespeare Essay examples

- ... In act V Prospero says, "The rare action is in virtue than in vengeance" (5.1.27-28). Essentially, Prospero was brought up as a privileged Duke, and as a result, suffered the consequences of hunger for power. Over his time on the island, Prospero forgot the desire for power that had consumed him for so many years. The play concludes with Prospero giving up his books which is symbolic of Prospero changing and letting go of his grudges and insatiable power thirst. Ambition for power is the result of growing up with greed....   [tags: Human nature, Nature versus nurture, The Tempest]

Strong Essays
1268 words (3.6 pages)

Essay about Forgiveness Of The Tempest By William Shakespeare

- So forgive and forget, huh. It appears forgiveness is quite an important force in the tempest, bringing the story together beautifully. Forgiveness helps us learn about the characters in the play. Forgiveness is also what brings the play to a happy ending, but not without making one wonder whether forgiveness was really achieved. The role of forgiveness in the tempest is so significant because it is only through forgiveness that the characters truly succeed, but also because it raises the question of the extent of human forgiveness and helps the reader learn plenty about the different characters in the play....   [tags: The Tempest, Moons of Uranus, Forgiveness]

Strong Essays
1124 words (3.2 pages)

Imagery in The Tempest, by William Shakespeare Essays

-     William Shakespeare's play The Tempest utilizes extensive imagery which goes beyond merely creating atmosphere and background or emphasizing the major themes of the play. The supernatural plays a considerable role in the play, thus so does the use of imagery, which is more extensive and somewhat different from many other of Shakespeare's works. The imagery is used as a mediator of supernatural powers, to emphasize the natural scene of action, and establish the enchanted island which becomes vivid through such a wealth of single features and of concrete touches....   [tags: Tempest essays]

Strong Essays
3744 words (10.7 pages)

tempcolon Confronting Colonialism and Imperialism in Aime Cesaire's A Tempest

- Confronting Colonialism in A Tempest     A Tempest by Aime Cesaire is an attempt to confront and rewrite the idea of colonialism as presented in Shakespeare’s The Tempest.  He is successful at this attempt by changing the point of view of the story.  Cesaire transforms the characters and transposes the scenes to reveal Shakespeare’s Prospero as the exploitative European power and Caliban and Ariel as the exploited natives.  Cesaire’s A Tempest is an effective response to Shakespeare’s The Tempest because he interprets it from the perspective of the colonized and raises a conflict with Shakespeare as an icon of the literary canon....   [tags: Tempest essays]

Strong Essays
1397 words (4 pages)

Essay on Importance of Language in Shakespeare's The Tempest

-    There are many different interpretations and differences of opinion regarding the genre of The Tempest, a play by William Shakespeare. In the essays "The Backward Voice": Puns and the Comic Subplot of The Tempest, by Maurice Hunt, and The Tempest as Romance and Anti-Romance, by Richard Hillman, the genre of the play is discussed in depth. Using elements such as setting, lines of the characters, and the action that occurs in the play, the authors evaluate Shakespeare's play The Tempest to be a romance with a "comic subplot", and thereby show how important the interpretation of the language and interaction is in finding meaning in the play....   [tags: The Tempest Essays]

Strong Essays
1862 words (5.3 pages)

European Colonialism and Imperialism in Shakespeare's The Tempest Essay examples

- European Colonialism and Imperialism in Shakespeare's The Tempest William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest reveals how ideologies of racial ‘otherness’ served to legitimize European patriarchal hegemony in Elizabethan England. In the Elizabethan/ Jacobean times of England there were many relevant ideologies relevant to this play. In examining the values and ideologies this text endorses and challenges, the society of the time (Elizabethan England), and a knowledge of how it operated serves a great purpose in analyzing these relationships....   [tags: Tempest Essays]

Strong Essays
942 words (2.7 pages)