During Shakespeare's time social classification was much more rigid than today and some members of society were considered superior to other members. Shakespeare provides an example of this rigid social structure through his play, The Tempest. Shakespeare illustrates how superior men differentiated themselves from lesser beings on the basis of race, financial status, and gender. Through the character of Prospero, Shakespeare provides and example of one, who had reason to feel superior, yet treated others equally and with the respect due to them.
The Tempest reflects Shakespeare's society through the relationship between characters, especially between Prospero and Caliban. Caliban, who was the previous king of the island, is taught how to be "civilized" by Prospero and his daughter Miranda. Then he is forced to be their servant. Caliban explains "Thou strok'st me and make much of me; wo...
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...lson. "Shakespearian Superman" The Tempest D.J. Palmer (ed.) Macmillan & Co. 1968
Murray, J. Middleton. "Shakespeare's Dream" The Tempest D.J. Palmer (ed.) Macmillan & Co. 1968
Palmer, D.J. Shakespeare's Later Comedies: An Anthology of Modern Criticism. Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1971.
Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. 1611. Ed. Stephen Orgel. New York: Oxford UP, 1994.
Tillyard, E.M. "The Tragic Pattern" The Tempest D.J. Palmer (ed.) Macmillan & Co. 1968
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