AP English Literature and Comp
17 December 2014
What it Means to be Civilized:
Civilization of Character in The Tempest
William Shakespeare’s The Tempest was seen as his last act as a writer in England. Shakespeare released this play in the year 1611, which is also called the Renaissance period. Shakespeare is known for translating history and life experiences into his writing. During the Renaissance period many people were worried about appearance and social standards. During this time Ireland was taken the under control of England and the Irish were not seen as equals (Takaki 1). In the play there was a character that was seen as outsider and uncivilized, he was treated less than a human being and was seen as a monster. Shakespeare used three other characters to show how people in the Renaissance period were like. He showed both the physical and social aspects of what it means to be civilized through his writing. Civilization is a huge part of the play because it is how the characters develop. In the play none of the characters are shown as the same person. There might be some similarities, but each character has their own personality. Shakespeare makes each character into a different view of civilization. Each character’s civilized personality is treated differently because of what people in that time wanted to be around. In that time period there was only one way to be a civilized person. A civilized person would have to be Catholic and intelligent. Being educated was an important factor in civilization because that is how people wanted to interact (Takaki 2). Shakespeare used his time period to provide complex analysis of what is means to be civilized. Through the examination of the character and sta...
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...d that even civilized people could become uncivilized for the “right” reasons.
Bowling, Lawerence E. "The Theme of Natural Order in "The Tempest"." College English
Frye, Northrop. Northrop Frye on Shakespeare. Ed. Robert Sandler. Binghamton: Yale University Press, 1986.
O’Toole, Michael. “Shakespeare’s Natives: Ariel and Caliban in The Tempest.” Columbia
University. Web. 7 Dec. 2014.
Proyect, L. "Shakespeare 's Tempest and the American Indian." 9 December 2014
Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. Ed. Mowat Barbara A. and Paul Werstine. New Folger Library . London: Washington Square Press , 1994.
Takaki, Ronald. "The Tempest in the Wilderness: The Racialization of Savagery." The
Journal of American History (1992): 1-21.
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