temptopia Theme of Utopianism in The Tempest Essay

temptopia Theme of Utopianism in The Tempest Essay

Length: 2239 words (6.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Theme of Utopianism in The Tempest

 
   One traditional theme of The Tempest is Utopianism. Whether it be of physical significance, as Walter Cohen suggests in his essay "Shakespeare and Calderon in an Age of Transition," or of literary significance, as Judith Boss suggests in her essay "The Golden Age, Cockaigne, and Utopia in the The Faerie Queene and The Tempest," it is an important piece of literature in contribution to Utopianism. Judith Boss does an excellent job in breaking down Utopianism within The Tempest into three different categories, the Golden Age, Cockaigne, and Utopia. All three are implemented, or can be derived from The Tempest. In Walter Cohen’s essay, he suggests that Shakespeare wrote The Tempest by no coincidence near the end of his career and life because it was an argument, or representation, of what England’s foreign policy was. It also predetermined in a way where England was headed politically.

Judith Boss does an exceptional critique of The Tempest in identifying Utopianism. She presents three classic forms of Utopianism and illustrates how they are represented in the play. Gonzalo’s speech can be seen as a representation of Montaign’s essay "Of the Caniballes." Gonzalo’s human nature and person can be viewed as a "normal man" in Cockaigne theory. And, Prospero’s actions and status on the island can be considered as a sort of political, philosophical Utopia.

The Golden Age

The whole idea of a Golden Age being possible is something that traces back in literary history through many plays, essays and other treatises carrying this theme. It became rather accelerated by the Renaissance writers who chose to implement it into their writings. The possibility of a Golden Age is taken with th...


... middle of paper ...


...for this. She has been raised on the somewhat "utopian" island most of her conscious life. Even though I think that Shakespeare was trying to disprove a Utopia he leaves Miranda to represents man’s last hope and possibility for a utopia.

Works Cited and Consulted

Boss, Judith E. "The Golden Age, Cockaigne, and Utopia in The Faerie Queene and The Temepest." Georgia Review 26 (1972) 145-55.

Cohen, Walter. "Shakespeare and Calderon in an Age of Transition." Genre 15 (1983), 123-37.

Hill, Christopher. The World Turned Upside Down: Radical Ideas During the English Revolution. London: Temple Smith, 1972.

Maus, Katherine Eisaman. "Arcadia Lost: Politics and Revision in the Restoration Tempest." Renaissance Drama 13 (1982): 189-209.

Wolf, A. A History of Science, Technology and Philosophy in the 16th and 17th Centuries. Vol. 2. New York: Harper, 1959.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Theme of Loss in Shakespeare's The Tempest Essay

- The Theme of Loss in The Tempest       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....   [tags: Tempest essays]

Powerful Essays
1985 words (5.7 pages)

tempcolon The Theme of Colonization in The Tempest Essay example

- The Theme of Colonization in The Tempest         Colony-A member or inhabitant of a colony.  A body of emigrants who settle in a remote region but remain under the control of a parent country.  --Webster's Dictionary   Can Prospero be defined as a type of colonist?  He does, after all, impose his presence onto an island already inhabited by somebody else, take over control and enslave his predecessor, while at the same time still remaining under the control of his native land.  If Prospero represents the colonist, or the white man, then Caliban serves as his counterpart in this discussion.  Critics have argued in the past that The Tempest's representation of Caliban relates Caliban to...   [tags: Tempest essays]

Powerful Essays
1980 words (5.7 pages)

Knowledge As Power in The Tempest Essay

- This essay deals with the figure of Prospero as master of Shakespeare's “The Tempest”, illustrating his power in all its expressions and explaining how it is based on knowledge. The first paragraph explains the context in which Prospero's power arises through the play and introduces his background and other main characters. In the second paragraph I discuss the relationship between Prospero and Caliban, a creature found in the island and submitted by the protagonist that attempts to civilize him....   [tags: The Tempest]

Powerful Essays
1195 words (3.4 pages)

Exploring Shakespeare's Presentation of the Theme of Power in The Tempest

- Exploring Shakespeare's Presentation of the Theme of Power in The Tempest In 'The Tempest', power manifests itself in many different forms. Three of the main types of power that Shakespeare explores are the power of love, the power of magic and illusion and the power of a master over his slave. He presents these forms of power in a number of ways. In 'The Tempest' Prospero appears to hold the majority of the power. He maintains his control over other characters in various ways, for example he uses the power of love to influence his daughter Miranda....   [tags: Papers Shakespeare Tempest Essays]

Powerful Essays
1653 words (4.7 pages)

The Theme of Colonialism in Shakespeare's Tempest Essay

- The Tempest, by Shakespeare, offers the reader a variety of themes. The one theme that stands out the most is that of colonialism. During the time of Shakespeare, many European countries such as Spain, France, and England, were expanding their borders by taking over less developed countries, referred to as colonies. During this time of exploitation, there was skepticism concerning the possible success of the colonies. While some scholars believe that the play is about the Americas, I argue that the play reflects on colonialism in general and how it is destined for failure which is shown through the character’s relationships throughout the play....   [tags: colonization, shakespeare, americas, play]

Powerful Essays
2638 words (7.5 pages)

Methods Used to Introduce the Exposition and Hold the Audience's Attention in Shakespeare's The Tempest

- In Act 1 Scene 1, Shakespeare introduces setting, characters, themes and plot to explain what is happening and to grab the audience’s attention, as well as laying the ground for the rest of play. He also uses literary techniques to make his play more interesting. Shakespeare also does this through the language and style of his writings he gives to the individual characters, and also the very few stage directions. Shakespeare had very restricted assets to work with, and so needed his actors and speeches to work for him....   [tags: The Tempest]

Powerful Essays
698 words (2 pages)

An Overview of The Tempest Essays

- The Tempest was originally performed in late 1611, and was published in its current form in the First Folio of 1623. It is the one play by Shakespeare not derived from one or more of the many sources commonly utilized by all playwrights of the Elizabethan era, although a contemporary German play possesses an analogous exile theme. The story of the shipwreck was probably taken from Sir George Somers' narrative of a Bermuda shipwreck of 1609. The play itself is a masque-like comedy; it far surpasses the majority of those traditional pieces with similar themes which were continuously being updated by other writers of Shakespeare's day....   [tags: The Tempest Essays]

Powerful Essays
1542 words (4.4 pages)

Themes in the Tempest Essays

- Themes in the Tempest     The Tempest is generally considered to be Shakespeare's last sole-authored play. The play draws a number of oppositions, some of which it dramatises, and some of which it only implies. Prospero, a figure exhibiting many resemblances to the Elizabethan idea of the 'Mage', (of whom the best known is probably Dr. John Dee), is opposed to both his corrupt brother, usurper of his role as Duke of Milan, and to Sycorax, an evil witch and mother of the 'deformed slave' Caliban....   [tags: Tempest essays]

Powerful Essays
1284 words (3.7 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]

Powerful Essays
1862 words (5.3 pages)

The Utopian Solution in The Tempest Essay

-     The entrance of The Tempest into theatres between 1610 and 1611, signifies a possible correlation between Shakespeare's play and the colonization of the ideal New World. Before analyzing the courtly order and utopian theme in The Tempest, it is important to understand the politics and culture of the court in the early 17th century. The society that Shakespeare emerges from plays an important role in the themes portrayed in The Tempest, because it leads to the utopian solution to the political and class conflict....   [tags: Tempest essays]

Powerful Essays
2477 words (7.1 pages)