The Tempest By William Shakespeare Essay

The Tempest By William Shakespeare Essay

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Morality and ethics are a construct of one’s own self, whether they are good is completely up to that society’s idea of normality of the time period you lived. But there is hope. Plato believed that art is a poor replica of nature, and that if art does not teach some sort of moral or ethical lesson to its audience that it was damaging. William Shakespeare, master author as it were, wrote in such depth that one could analyze his works under every lens known to man and come up with the different yet correct conclusion. Because of that I think the best and most efficient way to analyze Shakespeare, this is definitely the case for The Tempest, is through the lens of the moral school of criticism.
The Tempest has so many different moral decisions in it that one cannot effectively narrow it down and break down just one situation. To effectively gauge wither or not the story and its characters are teaching us any moral or ethical lessons we would have to look at Shakespeare’s The Tempest as a whole, from Prospero’s use of his magical ability’s, to how the crew reacts and acts once they are stranded on the island, and to how Miranda and Ferdinand fall in love and how all three items play into Prospero’s ulterior motive of restoring his dukedom. Because of all the different choices and situations that are presented throughout the play we must decide which lesson is being learned, would we make the same mistakes, and mostly would we make sound moral and ethical decisions. If given magical powers would you be good? Or would you simply think you’re doing good? Would you make the best ethical decisions? Or would you discover that your ethics are just a mirror to how you view the world around you.
I think that The Tempest is the ultimate tes...


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...ling, frightening, or down right abnormal. Whether it be the Minotaur, a creature with the head of a bull and the body of a man. Or in the case of The Tempest Prospero, a man who embodies (at the time) the traits that frighten people the most, and it’s not his ability to use magic, it’s his choices. With this power Prospero sets in motion a plan to restore his dukedom. He enslaves people, lies to people (including his own daughter), and plays the men of the wrecked ship against each other, for nothing more than to fulfill his own wishes of becoming the duke of Milan again. Now most people would argue that they would use this power for good but would you? Without stories like The Tempest we would have no way of knowing how we would react in those situations. We would have no mental “rehearsals” to help us decide if we would make good moral choices in Prospero’s shoes.

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