Shakespeare/Tempest By Shakespeare term paper 12646

Shakespeare term papers
Disclaimer: Free essays on Shakespeare posted on this site were donated by anonymous users and are provided for informational use only. The free Shakespeare research paper (Tempest By Shakespeare essay) presented on this page should not be viewed as a sample of our on-line writing service. If you need fresh and competent research / writing on Shakespeare, use the professional writing service offered by our company.
View / hide essay

The Tempest is an interesting play written by the famous, William Shakespeare.

It is his official and last accomplishment. This play is thought of as one of

Shakespeare's "romance" plays. Shakespeare started to write toward the

end of his career about magic and fantasy set in far-off lands. These realms

that he created are written about in his plays. This particular play is famous

for his usage of magic, which is carried through by the Duke of Milan (a state

in Italy), who is also known as Prospero the magician. Prospero rules

Shakespeare's creation of an island set far away from all realities and creates

ruckus for all that land on the island. Prospero who is on an island with his

daughter Miranda and some servants to assist with magic is stranded but he uses

his magical powers to his advantage. Prospero is on this remote island because

his brother Antonio usurped his position of Dukedom. His evil brother sent

Prospero and his baby daughter sailing into sea with a boat full of wholes.

Antonio sent Prospero away in such an abused boat that he assumes that Prospero

had to died at sea, but this is not so. A kind-hearted man named Gonzalo changes

Prospero and his daughter's fate and Prospero in return uses his magic on the

island to make it some what livable for them. The play starts out so happily but

then Prospero is offered a chance to use his magic and take revenge upon his

evil, brother Antonio who took his place in Milan, Italy as the duke to rule.

Antonio happens to set sail in waters that are close to Prospero's island. His

servant, Ariel who is an airy spirit, which Prospero rescued from imprisonment

and now controls can fly, play magical music, misdirect people, turn invisible,

and create storms and fire, among other abilities. Also Ariel's gender is

uncertain and probably indeterminate; it is referred to sometimes as

"he", but also takes on female forms (for instance, the nymph of

I.ii.301 and the harpy of III.iii.53ff) and spends much time invisible. It is

probably simplest to think of Ariel as androgynous-that is, neither male nor

female) So Prospero and Ariel conjure up a huge storm (the tempest), and try and

steer the ship towards the island so that his daughter and himself can return

back to civilization. The ship wrecks near the island and Prospero uses his

magic to make sure that all the passengers manage to make it safely ashore. Many

interesting figures wash upon shore. These figures include, Antonio, Alonso, the

King of Naples, who conspired long ago to help Antonio get rid of Prospero; the

good old counselor, Gonzalo; Sebastian, Alonso's own power-hungry younger

brother; and Ferdinand, Alonso's son, the Prince of Naples. The characters

basically divide up into two groups, the protagonists and the antagonists.

Antonio is an antagonist. He is the evil brother of Prospero, from whom he

usurped the position of Duke of Milan twelve years ago. He also plots with

Sebastian to kill Alonso and Gonazalo. Alsonso, the King of Naples is one of the

figures belonging to the protagonist group. He was long ago involved in

Antonio's plot to get rid of Prospero. He has a corruptible, power-hungry

younger brother named Sebastian. He is the father of Ferdinand and the heir to

the throne and he has a daughter named Claribel, who has just been married to a

king fare across the sea. Gonzalo also belongs to the protagonists. He is a

well-meaning, good-hearted elderly counselor of Alonso, who helped save Prospero

and Miranda's life long ago, when Antonio and Alonso betrayed them. The next

character is Sebastian who is an antagonist and he is also the wicked brother of

Alonso, King of Naples. He is corrupt and power-hungry, and he plots with

Antonio to murder Alonso and Gonzalo. Ferdinand is part of the protagonist group

and is the Prince of Naples, and the son of Alonso. He falls in love with

Miranda the first time he sees her. When Ferdinand is washed onto the island

alone, Ferdinand and Miranda (the young, naïve daughter of Prospero who has

grown up on the island and has seen no other human being than her father for as

long as she can remember.) meet and fall in love at first sight. This was

Prospero's secret goal all along, although he pretends to dislike Ferdinand at

first. Meanwhile, Prospero lets the other noblemen-Alonso and Antonio,

accompanied by Sebastian, Gonzalo and others wander around the island for a

while, by the way of punishment. Alonso believes that his son Ferdinand has

drowned, and he is suffering greatly over this. Antonio and Sebastian, Prosper

and Alonso's wicked brothers, plot together to murder Alonso in his sleep in

order to seize the crown of Naples, but Prospero sends his servant Ariel to

prevent this. Meanwhile, another of Prospero's servants-Caliban, a creature

native to the island whom Prospero has made his slave-meets up with a couple of

drunken servants from the ship, a jester named Trinculo. He is also part of the

antagonists and is a clownish figure. He is Alonso's jester, who washes up

alone. Also a good friend of Stephano and very fond of wine, he gets involved in

an incompetent "conspiracy" with Stephano and Caliban to kill Prospero

and take over the island. But of course because he drinks his plans are not as

efficient. Prospero at work with his magic again, casts an enchantment on Alonso,

Antonio, and Sebastian to make them immobile with madness, guilt and fear.

Meanwhile, Ferdinand and Miranda become engaged, and Prospero uses his magic to

give them a beautiful wedding pageant, with spirits taking the form of classical

deities. Finally, in the climatic concluding scene, all the characters are

brought together once more. Prospero forgives the villains, but reclaims his

dukedom from Antonio. Ferdinand and his father Alonso are reunited. Prospero and

Miranda plan to set sail back to Naples with the rest, where Miranda will marry

Ferdinand and become the future Queen of Naples. And Prosper, finally keeping

the promise, which he has been making for ages, sets Ariel free from its

servitude to him. Prospero is the main character of The Tempest, he is the most

powerful and he manipulates everything. From the start of the play he engineers

the tempest that brings the other characters to his island, and after that he

uses his magic to control where they go. He can send Ariel to make them fall

asleep, freeze them in place, or lead them to wherever he wants them to be. He

also seems to have guessed correctly what the psychological reaction of Alonso

and the rest would be to Ariel's terrifying accusation while in harpy form, and

he seems to have known that Miranda and Ferdinand would fall in love. Caliban's

rebellion took him by surprise, though. I also think that Prospero is like a

"stand-in" for Shakespeare, saying goodbye to his career in the

theater using Prospero's magic as a way to refer to the magic of the stage.

There are passages in the play, which seem to make connections between

Prospero's magic and the magic on the stage. Prospero's power of illusion as

being a metaphor for the illusion of theater, and his magic and power over other

people may be linked to the power, which the playwright himself-Shakespeare-has

in creating worlds and characters. Prospero's final scene in which he stands

alone and is powerless on the stage, is a moving farewell to a great playwright

who is about to lay aside his magic by writing into his play "now my charms

are all o'erthrown, and what strengths I have's mine own." Prospero admits,

"now I want, spirits to enforce, art to enchant" (1-2, 13-14). Even as

Prospero pleads for the audience's forgiveness and release and pleas, which is

easy to interpret, as the usual formal pleas made in an epilogue that is

actually Shakespeare's final words, but coming through Prospero. Shakespeare is

stopping his writing and saying goodbye through Prospero, when he lays his

magical arts forever down and says a final farewell to an audience whom loved

him. It is as if these final lines are the final ones that Shakespeare ever

wrote for the stage. Then Prospero's renunciation of his magic, and his begging

the audience to, at long last, set him free, are very moving and complex. These

final words are a fitting end to a magical play and to an end of a great career

in the theater.


Live support is now available round-the-clock 24/7
A paper writing site You CAN trust!
  • 10+ years of experience in paper writing
  • Any assignment on any level. Any deadline!
  • Open 24/7 Your essay will be done on time!
  • 200+ essay writers. Live Chat. Great support
  • No Plagiarism. Satisfaction. Confidentiality.