Preview
Preview

The Importance of Ideas in The Tempest Essay

:: 4 Works Cited
Length: 1255 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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 whom have to go through physical or emotional distress because of their negligence, in one way or another, or these duties), the transitoriness of all material things (as in Prospero's speech following the masque), the rights of the colonialist and whether he is exploiting or educating the natives (in the case of Prospero and Caliban), the argument over whether "enlightened" civilization is superior to the "natural man" or otherwise, and the importance of retaining social hierarchy.

 

            It is also, to a certain extent, not inaccurate to suggest that the characters, or at least the important ones, have a symbolic function. Prospero does symbolize "Art" and enlightened civilization, Caliban "Nature" and the primitive, uncontrolled succumbing to instinctual, sometimes base, urges that results from the lack of "civilization", Ferdinand and Miranda the purity and virtue of noble birth, most of the court party (Antonio, Alonso, Sebastian; on a different level, Stephano and Trinculo) the imperfection of civilization in the form of ...


... middle of paper ...


...nd Political Thought." A Companion to Shakespeare. Ed.  David Scott Kastan. Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Ltd., 1999. 100-116.

Gervinus, G.G. "A review of The Tempest." Shakespeare Commentaries. (1877):787-800. Rpt.  Scott. 304-307.

More, Sir Thomas. "Utopia." The Longman Anthology of British Literature. Vol 1. Ed. David  Damrosch. New York: Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers Inc., 1999. 637-706.

Platt, Peter. "Shakespeare and Rhetorical Culture." A Companion to Shakespeare. Ed. David  Scott Kastan. Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Ltd., 1999.  277-296.

Sacks, David Harris. "Political Culture." A Companion to Shakespeare. Ed. David Scott  Kastan. Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Ltd., 1999. 100-116.

Snider, Denton J. "A review of The Tempest." The Shakespearian Drama a Commentary: The Comedies. (1890). Rpt. Scott. 320-324.

 


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
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]
:: 1 Works Cited
1291 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
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]
:: 2 Works Cited
1284 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Conflict and Harmony in The Tempest Essay - Conflict and Harmony in The Tempest     William Shakespeare describes a 'utopic' world saturated with supernatural images and ideas which works to create the mysterious island where The Tempest takes place.  This is one of Shakespeare's best examples of how a natural harmony reveals itself through the actions of discourse and confusion.  To illustrate this idea best one must examine the historical context upon which The Tempest is based.  Because this play was published in the early 1600s, controversial cultural and political events undoubtedly surface.  Furthermore, by analyzing the sub-plots in the play, the reader has a better understanding of Shakespeare's purpose for including mult...   [tags: Tempest essays]
:: 8 Works Cited
1382 words
(3.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Elements of the Masque in The Tempest Essay - The Tempest was written when masques were becoming exceedingly popular in England, and were often performed at weddings to honor marriages. The Tempest is heavily influenced by elements of the masque, and can be performed with the same purposes as one, although it is far too rich to be classified simply into that genre of plays.             In masques the use of spectacle was extensive. The Tempest reflects this in many ways. The very first scene, Act I scene i, is that of a ship in action, and requires elaborate special effects to convey a sense of realism....   [tags: The Tempest Essays] 1007 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
An Analysis of Shakespeare's The Tempest Essay - An Analysis of Shakespeare's The Tempest There are many ways of interpreting Shakespeare's The Tempest. A Post-Colonialist critic, such as Stephen Greenblatt, will look at the influence of historical and political implications of colonialism on the text. Along these lines, a Reader Response critic, such as Paul Yachnin, will look specifically at Shakespeare's audience and their concerns at the time in which the play was written. Very different from these approaches, a Psychological critic, such as Bernard Paris, will completely ignore what was in the author's and audience's minds, and look at the psyche of the main character in the play....   [tags: Tempest Essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
3495 words
(10 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Ariel and Allegory in The Tempest Essay examples - Ariel and Allegory in The Tempest       The temptation to regard The Tempest as an allegory has proved irresistible to critics, although opinions differ on what it might be an allegory of, and what the principal figures might represent. In this essay I wish to discuss the character of Ariel, who has received less attention than either Caliban or Prospero. If The Tempest is an allegory then each of its characters should fulfil some representative function. Prospero is generally associated with the playwright (or even, which amounts to much the same thing in some views, with God) as he controls the action on stage....   [tags: Tempest essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
1612 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Dramatic Effects in Shakespeare's The Tempest - The Importance of Dramatic Effects in The Tempest      It has been said that the function of drama is to confront and then engage the audience.  This is certainly the approach taken by Shakespeare in his play, The Tempest.  When the play begins, the audience is immediately confronted by the sheer ferocity of the tempest, and from the time that the unfortunate passengers land on the island, the audience is engaged by the fantasy of the island of Prospero.   At the start of the play, we see the action on board the ship which is ferrying the King and some members of the upper class back home....   [tags: Tempest essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
1156 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Tempest Essay - Everyone has lost something. One of my earliest memories is a car ride through the desert of Arizona. We had just stopped at a gas station, and after we had gotten back on the road I realized that I had left behind a small toy I had gotten at McDonald's earlier that day. Even at seven years old I knew that I would forget about the toy in a day or two, but for some reason I could not help but ardently entreat my parents to return for it. It was only after I had lost the toy that I realized how much I wanted it....   [tags: Shakespeare]
:: 1 Works Cited
1604 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Criticism on The Tempest Essay - INTRODUCTION The Tempest is generally it is a romance and frequently interpreted as Shakespeare dramatic art. It counted one of Shakespeare's most original plays. critical argument on ‘The Tempest’ has centered for centuries. It is he who embodies the debate over colonialism, over the clash of cultures, and over the humanity of the play’s heroes: Prospero, Miranda, Ferdinand and others. No source for the central plot has been definitively identified. The Tempest is set in an unidentified age on an unnamed island, which some critics have suggested evokes themes of European colonialism in the New World....   [tags: Shakespeare, Literary Analysis]
:: 2 Works Cited
1310 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Home vs. The Exotic in Shakespeare's The Tempest Essays - Home vs. The Exotic in Shakespeare's The Tempest Home. Just the word conjures up feelings of familiarity and comfort, a place that is welcoming and memorable. Does home necessarily have to represent a place. Rather, can it encompass a multitude of feelings and objects that represent comfort and ease. The post-colonial novel often strives to strike a balance, whether it be uneven, between what is considered foreign and exotic and that which is homely and familiar. Post-colonial literature frequently is representative of the interplay between characters' experiences in an exotic environment versus those at home....   [tags: Shakespeare Temptest William Essays] 2283 words
(6.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]