Importance of Dialogue in The Tempest

Importance of Dialogue in The Tempest

Length: 997 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

Importance of Dialogue in The Tempest


Dialogue is one of the most important features in a play, where the audience has the story acted and spoken out in front of them. For this reason, in a play such as The Tempest, relationships are written and constructed mainly through the spoken word. The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare, in the genre of both a romance and a pastoral tragicomedy.


Since Prospero is the central character of the text, most of the relationships shown and developed in the play concern him. He has his main dealings with Miranda, Ferdinand, Alonso, Antonio and Caliban. Miranda is his daughter, and was exiled along with him to this island. Prospero has cared solely for her in the last sixteen years, and thus is very protective. He helps Miranda and Ferdinand to become betrothed, and as a kind of test he makes Ferdinand do chores. When he sees the true love between them, and that his little girl is not sop little anymore, he consents to their marriage. His relationship with Ferdinand is much shorter, but basically he tests Ferdinand to see if he is a worthy husband for his daughter. He accuses him of various things, such as being a spy, but the fast that Ferdinand repeatedly exclaims that any burden is made, light if he can see the face of Miranda pleases Prospero. Part of Miranda's new status as being grown up is shown in the long exposition where Prospero finally tells her the truth about her background and how they came upon the island, and her exclamation of ""Oh brave new world, that hath such people in't."" when she sees the noblemen, more people than she has ever seen singly before, all at once.


Caliban is the monstrous son of the dark witch Sycorax, who was the ruler of the island previously. As heir apparent, Prosper actually usurped rule from him, a fact which is never given thought to in the play! Prospero did look kindly onto Caliban at first, but after his attempted rape of Miranda he was reduced to the status of common slave, with Prospero as his master. After the attempted crime, it is no wonder that the relationship between them is quite testy.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Importance of Dialogue in The Tempest." 13 Nov 2019

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Tempest By William Shakespeare Essay

- 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....   [tags: The Tempest, Moons of Uranus, Caliban]

Research Papers
1116 words (3.2 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]

Research Papers
1862 words (5.3 pages)

The Rhetorical in the Music of The Tempest Essay

- The Rhetorical in the Music of The Tempest In the midst of a Shakespearean play, there has and always will be a ghost that hovers over the actors and the audience. This is a ghost with a purpose, a ghost I call rhetoric. In every Shakespeare play, there exists an energy that has the power to persuade the audience to feel or believe something that Shakespeare believed. This energy breathes through the dialogue, the props and especially the music. The audience and the play engage in an exchange of question and answer to assist society in working through human dilemmas....   [tags: Tempest essays]

Research Papers
2022 words (5.8 pages)

An Analysis of the First Two Acts of The Tempest Essay

-     The first two acts of The Tempest share a couple of inconsequential similarities and have some very contrasting differences. The similarities are, on the whole, superficial: Both acts consist of just two scenes and both acts are of a similar length. However, the similarities end there.             The lengths of the scenes in each act differ somewhat: Act 1 has one extremely short scene and one very lengthy scene; Act 2 is composed of two scenes of similar length. Also, the tone of each act is very different, with Act 1 being serious and composed, whilst Act 2 is more comic, often descending into pure farce....   [tags: The Tempest Essays]

Research Papers
1494 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on Importance of Environment in Shakespeare's The Tempest

- Importance of Environment in The Tempest    The island is full of noises; Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight,” says Caliban. The responses which the characters in The Tempest offer to their immediate surroundings reveal much about their individual traits, at the same time they allow the audience glimpses of Prospero's island as different parts of the island are isolated in the play. The island itself and the sea that surrounds it may be seen as encompassing elemental nature and throughout the play, the elements are used to emphasize the inherent nature of characters (notably Ariel and Caliban) as these elements to an Elizabethan audience possessed "primarily certain qualities attri...   [tags: Tempest essays]

Research Papers
1974 words (5.6 pages)

Essay Importance of Setting in Shakespeare's The Tempest

- Importance of Setting in The Tempest   The island of magic and mystery that Shakespeare creates in The Tempest is an extraordinary symbol of both the political and social realities of his contemporary society, and of the potential for a reformed New World. Shakespeare’s island is a creation which allows the juxtaposition of real and idealised worlds, and shows his audience both what they and what they ought to be. The seventeenth century was a time of ideological upheaval in Europe, with Medieval ideas of a hierarchical and ordered society being challenged by Renaissance thinkers....   [tags: Tempest essays]

Research Papers
1291 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on the Importance of Language in The Tempest

- The Importance of Language in The Tempest      In discussing Derrida's view of Western literature, Geoffrey Hartman writes that "Western tradition has been marked . . . by a metaphysics of light, by the violence of light itself, from Apollonian cults to Cartesian philosophies. In the light of this emphatic light everything else appears obscure; especially the Hebraic development of aniconic writing and self-effacing commentary of textuality" (xix). This point is well illustrated by the nature of Prospero's power in The Tempest for his control of natural and supernatural forces is achieved through book-learning the bringing to life of Logos....   [tags: Tempest essays]

Research Papers
1312 words (3.7 pages)

The Importance of Ideas in The Tempest Essay

- The Importance of Ideas in The Tempest        Shakespeare's play, The Tempest, is constructed on a framework of ideas rather than on any dramatic principle. It is "ideas" that are presented throughout, and the play is built around the presentation of these themes -- themes such as the argument over whether nature is superior to nurture or vice versa (as in the case of Caliban and Antonio, the first being one on whom all efforts at nurture "can never stick" due to the inherent baseness of his nature, the second being one whom neither nature nor nurture has availed to deter him from consciously choosing evil), the moral duties of the sovereign (in the case of Prospero and Alonso, both of wh...   [tags: Tempest essays]

Research Papers
1255 words (3.6 pages)

The Importance of Caliban in William Shakespeare's The Tempest Essay

- The Importance of Caliban in William Shakespeare's The Tempest   'This thing of darkness, I must acknowledge mine.' Although many seem baffled by Shakespeare's The Tempest, the plot is not the target to be deciphered. We understand The Tempest through understanding the character of Caliban. Many works highlight the virtuous side of human nature, failing to acknowledge the darkness that lives within the hearts of all. The Tempest is not one of these works. This story realizes that it is impossible to have the good aspect of human nature without the bad....   [tags: Tempest essays Shakespeare ]

Research Papers
1814 words (5.2 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]

Research Papers
1284 words (3.7 pages)

Related Searches

Prospero continually insults and orders Caliban about, always being backed by the power of his 'art.' In return, Caliban insults Prospero and always complains about the work he must do. His attitude towards Prospero may be seen in the line ""You taught me language, and that I know how to curse be my profit on't."" In the end however, with the tone of reconciliation found in a romance, Caliban is forgiven and has the island to himself once moor as Prospero sails away.


Twelve years previous to the opening of the play, when Prospero was ousted from his Dukedom, it was Antonio, aided by Alonso, who took over. Thus, when ""my enemies are delivered into my hands"" he can take revenge, while teaching Alonso a lesson. By making Ferdinand wash ashore away from the nobles, the nobles think Ferdinand must have died in the storm. This is very distressing news to Alonso, since he has just marries off his daughter, Claribel, to the King of Tunis, and with Ferdinand gone he has no heirs to take over the throne when he dies, like the mythical Greek king Aigeus. This show's Prospero's attitude towards Alonso now, but as the play develops, particularly towards the end where Alonso meets up again with Ferdinand, Prospero is seen as forgiving towards Alonso and they talk togethger as two nobles. Prospero in the role of mentor and educator is seen here; he has taught Alonso not to be politically expedient; for the sake of a quick foreign alliance he gave up his only daughter.


Antonio is quite an evil character: quite soon after the nobles land on the island he and Sebastian hatch a plot to kill the sleeping King Alonso. In fact, it is only the magic 'hand' of Prospero who stops them, again in the role of educator, and in this case, protector. Dialogue is the main way in which we find about the character of Antonio: he uses his razor sharp wit with Sebastian to tease the king councillor Gonzalo, and at the end of the play we see his attitude towards Prospero, even when he is forgiven for past wrongs, he is still quite stubborn and unrepentant. The dialogue between Prospero And Antonio in the last scene also shows friction between the brothers since that incident, sixteen years before.


Another character who Prospero has a deep relationship with is Gonzalo, councillor to King Alonso. Gonzalo helped Prospero and Miranda by giving them food and shelter when they were set afloat on the seas, and they would probably not have survived to make it to the island without his help. Gonzalo is also wise and is optimistic in the face of doubt, as illustrated by the fact that while Antonio and Sebastian complain about the island they have landed upon, Gonzalo tells him what he would do the the island if he could: set up a utopia, a land of 'no sovereignity' and equality. At the end of the play, hen everybody gets together for the last scene, Prospero shows that he hasn't forgotten the kind deed of Gonzalo in the past, as he thanks him for helping them.


With the ending of the romance, Ferdinand and Miranda get married, Prospero gets back his Dukedom and gets ready to resume his duties and a kind and fair ruler, Caliban gets back the island to himself once more, Ariel the spirit gets its freedom, and the play ends with reconciliation, and a hope for the future, symbolized as well by the new world. Through the relationships of the characters with Prospero, we can see the process of forgiveness and how the characters have changed for the better.
Return to