Sources of Conflict in Shakespeare's “The Tempest” Essay

Sources of Conflict in Shakespeare's “The Tempest” Essay

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Throughout “The Tempest”, the majority of conflict surrounds Prospero and Caliban. Their exchanges comprise of vulgar words, such as Prospero threatening Caliban and calling him ‘Thou poisonous slave’, and Caliban cursing Prospero, ‘and blister you all o’er’. Before we meet Caliban, we are told that he is of North-African descent, when Ariel said Sycorax was from ‘Algiers’, a place in North-Africa. He is depicted as a ‘salvage and deformed slave’ by The Folio’s ‘Names of the Actors’ and to a Jacobean audience, the word ‘salvage’ referred to a ‘wild and uncivilised’ person, and they believed that these ‘salvages’ were below their civilised counterparts in the social hierarchy. The Renaissance period, despite its advance in intellect, was a profoundly intolerant age. ‘There was very little willingness to accept the legitimacy of structures of belief, patterns of behaviour, social organisation other than one’s own’. (Michael de Montaigne). They were intolerant in accepting the unknown, the natives, and treated them as the dreads of society. This could be explained through the structure ...

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