William Shakespeare 's The Tempest Essay

William Shakespeare 's The Tempest Essay

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The nature of discovery entails a journey that is transformative and concerns one’s relationship with one’s self or one’s world. Discoveries can be either sought or serendipitous and can lead to good or bad consequences, but ultimately they are all concerned with the acquisition of greater knowledge and a new perspective. In William Shakespeare’s The Tempest (1611), Prospero comes to realise not only the limitations of his art, but also the importance of love and redemption in redefining one’s place in the world, as well as one’s view of it. Lois Lowry’s The Giver represents the importance of new perspectives and understanding within the norm in order to realise the need for potential change, in the face of conflicting and controlling forces.

The Tempest, as its title suggests, is partly concerned with the forces of nature, but mostly it is about the need for the liberating and redemptive power of forgiveness in the face of man’s inhumanity towards man. Prospero conjures a storm, with Ariel’s forced assistance, that brings to the island those who have wronged him. The scene seems set for a revenge plot to unfold. However, we soon discover that Prospero has changed in the 12 years that he has been exiled on the island. He realises that he is as much to blame for his exile as his treacherous brother Antonio to whom he relegated his ducal responsibilities in order to pursue his selfish interests: ‘And to my state grew stranger, being transported/And rapt in secret studies.’ Just as Miranda discovers her true identity, her history and her future husband, Prospero has discovered his error and will return to Milan a wiser, more forgiving and less self-indulgent ruler: ‘I’ll break my staff, / Bury it certain fathoms in the earth, / And...


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...complex, diverse and transformative on both personal and global levels, confirming the inter-relatedness of inner and outer worlds. The Tempest moves from the discovery of an unchartered island and the creatures that inhabit it to the equally important discovery of the power of love and forgiveness in a world made imperfect by man. The discovery of metaphysical realities continues in The Giver through the representation of relationships that seek to control and shape the lives of others in accordance with existing expectations devoid of any recognition of individual differences. Whilst essentially different in their endings, both texts represent the liberating nature of the discovery of self, our limitations and our potential. In short, discovery is an unending journey that transcends time and place because it reflects our need to find personal meaning in our world.

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