The Tempest By William Shakespeare Essay

The Tempest By William Shakespeare Essay

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The Tempest by Shakespeare is a play about a king, Prospero, and his daughter, Miranda, and their exile from their kingdom. They have been betrayed by fellow kin and allies and forced to find refuge at an enchanted island (Shakespeare). With the help of a magical being named Ariel, Prospero attempts to take revenge against those who betrayed him and his daughter (Shakespeare). In Act I scene II of the play, Prospero and Miranda confront Caliban who is their servant on the island (Shakespeare). This same scene is illustrated in a painting called The Enchanted Island, Before the Cell of Prospero by the artist, Henry Fuseli. Through the placement of the characters and the intricate details of the setting in the painting, Fuseli accurately portrays and captures the essence of The Tempest. Ultimately, the adaptation of Act I scene II into a painting allows the depiction of the play to become more concrete and comprehensible.
The format in Fuseli’s painting mirrors the character interaction in the play. In Act I Scene II, Prospero and Miranda face Caliban. It is in this scene that Prospero calls upon his “poisonous slave,” Caliban, to “come forth” (Shakespeare line 319-320). The characters’ position in the painting reflects their attitude and dialogue in the scene. Fuseli presents Caliban facing Prospero with a fearful expression and his fist up as if to defend himself. Across from Caliban, Prospero is illustrated pointing his hand towards Caliban (P. Simon and Henry Fuseli). Where they are standing establishes the same relationship that Prospero and Caliban have with each other in the play. Prospero’s position in the center of the painting also represents that he is the center of attention. As a result, the painting accurately introd...


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...st of values, connects Fuseli’s The Enchanted Island, Before the Cell of Prospero to Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
Shakespeare’s The Tempest is accurately displayed in Henry Fuseli’s painting The Enchanted Island, Before the Cell of Prospero. Despite the departures between the painting and the play, such as Ariel’s appearance in the sky and the extra details to the setting,the painting still captures the essence of the play. Fuseli manages to present the isolated and magical atmosphere of the play through his illustration of the characters and the setting. The placement of each individual in the painting sets up the role that each character has in the play. The details of the setting supports the portrayal of the play in the painting. The connection between the play and the painting allows for an easier and clearer comprehension to the many factors involved in the story.

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