Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formattingExcerpt from Research Paper:
In the epilogue of A Midsummer's Night Dream, Puck speaks to the audience directly not as an actor or a character in a play, while in The Tempest, Prospero is still in character but begs the audience to set him free so he can return to Naples. For Puck, King Oberon and all the other actors are mere shadows, exactly as Theseus described the actors in the play-within-a-play, and his statement seems to dissolve the distance between the actors and the audience. Everyone in the play has been dreaming or is part of a dream, and so is the audience in the theater, so no one can even know for certain if there is any distinction between reality and illusion. Prospero has also used magic and illusion to deceive and confuse his enemies, and in fact the entire island is magical. While in control of sprites like Ariel, he is in fact all-knowing and all-powerful on the island and can make other mortals see or imagine anything he desires, but once he has voluntarily given up his powers he is now simply an ordinary man, at the mercy of the audience. He has set Ariel and the other spirits free, and now prays that the viewers will have the same mercy for him, just as Puck has been ordered by King Oberon to correct the illusions he has created. Ultimately, neither Puck nor Prosepero are malevolent beings or practitioners of the 'dark arts' and black magic, which were still greatly feared when Shakespeare was writing his plays. Audiences in the present day, of course, would not take events like these as literally as their counterparts 400 years ago, when the magical world was almost universally believed to be absolutely real.
Prospero would have seemed less worthy of forgiveness if he had murdered Antonio, Alonso and his other enemies instead of simply casting a spell on them. After all, he caused the storm with the intention of wrecking their ship on the island, and he forces Ferdinand to roll logs while creating an illusion of a great banquet for the others. In the end, though, Prospero agrees to the wedding of Miranda and Ferdinand, as a sign that he has forgiven his enemies. He has been in control of all the other characters from the start and can literally create their reality for them, but he also finds the son of his enemy worthy of Miranda, and predicts that they will eventually rule the kingdom of Naples. Caliban's rebellion was also hopeless, even comical, but Prospero's punishment was temporary and involved the illusion of the rebels being chased by wild dogs. In real slave revolts in the New World, the dogs would have been real and the punishments extreme, but Prospero is content to leave the demonic man-beast alone on the island. In addition to recognizing the free will of Miranda and Ferdinand, he also frees Ariel and the other sprites, as they had always wished, while Ariel ensures good weather for the voyage back to Italy. After all, Ariel has been a good and faithful servant, even warning Prospero's of Caliban's plans for rebellion and assassination, while Prospero has been a benevolent and paternalistic master.
Romantic love and free choice also triumph in A Midsummer Night's Dream, since Hermia is determined to marry Lysander rather than the young man her father has chosen for her, and will not change her mind even on the threat of death. Puck simply confuses matters with his inept magic by causing Lysander to fall in love with Helina, who is really in love with Demetrius. In the parallel story, King Oberon is jealous of Titiana's love for Bottom and has him turned into a donkey. All of this results in a comedy or errors until Oberon orders Puck to correct his mistake and ensure that Lysander falls in love with Hermia. In the end, though, Duke Theseus permits their marriage while Demetrius also marries his true love Helina, so all's well that ends well. Puck is not a malicious or evil spirit, only a clumsy one, and the illusions he caused did not do permanent harm to anyone.
In both plays, the audience could observe unseen forces at work that changed the lives of all the main characters, through magic, witchcraft or sorcery of some kind. At the time these works were first performed on stage in the 17th Century, most of the audience would have taken the existence of witches, spirits and fairies as a given, along with the ability of such hidden forces to influence the lives or mortals for good or evil. King James I of Scotland and England, for example, was well-known to have an obsession with witchcraft and had written a book about it called Demonology. He also believed that witches in Scotland had attempted to cause his death and that of his young bride. For that audience, then, the powers of witches and spirits to change physical and mental reality, predict the future, cause death and injury or make people fall in love was all too real. Most members of contemporary audiences would regard all this as metaphorical rather than the deadly serious business it was in the16th and 17th Centuries. After all, the witches accused of plotting to kill King James were tortured and burned at the stake after a trial in which he presided over personally. An accused witch who confessed and recanted his powers, as Prospero did, might have received more mercy from the court, although not always.
Essay Topic 2
One major difference between the way female and male witches are portrayed in these plays is that the males seem far less evil and destructive. Prosepero uses Ariel to punish and confuse his enemies but not to murder them, and in the end all is forgiven. Puck is shown to be more on an incompetent and inefficient spirit than a malevolent one, and in the end his mistakes are corrected so the people who are truly in love can marry each other. This is most definitely not the case with the three Weird Sisters in Macbeth, who are purely evil and influence him to commit murder and also predict his own death at the hands of Macduff. In The Tempest, Sycorax in already dead before the play begins, but she is described as purely evil, and quite literally the 'black' bride of Satan with demonic offspring.
Sycorax was an evil witch who oppressed Ariel and the other spirits, and according to Prospero she mated with the Devil to produce Caliban. Since she was from Algiers in North Africa the English audience would have imagined her as black or at least tawny in color, as well as thoroughly foreign and exotic. Even though she was already dead when Prospero arrived on the island he had developed a very strong image of her as evil, sexually promiscuous, and worshipping a pagan god called Setebos. He vanquishes her 'black' magic with his own 'white' magic, enslaves Caliban and takes control of Ariel and the other sprites. Even though Sycorax is never seen onstage in the play, and the audience only learns about her from the man who has conquered and colonized the island, she is portrayed as the exact opposite of the 'white' and 'pure' Miranda, whose virginity Prospero is determined to protect. Sycorax on the other hand is made to seem threatening and menacing on every level: racial, religious, sexual and ethnic, like an early version of Count Dracula.
Perhaps the danger of a 'foreign' and 'alien' woman like Sycorax was increased by the fact that she had real political power as ruler of a kingdom, while the witches in Macbeth are more like the stereotypical outcasts that witches were commonly assumed to be in…[continue]
"Tempest Shakespeare" (2011, October 26) Retrieved October 21, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/tempest-shakespeare-116524
"Tempest Shakespeare" 26 October 2011. Web.21 October. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/tempest-shakespeare-116524>
"Tempest Shakespeare", 26 October 2011, Accessed.21 October. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/tempest-shakespeare-116524
Tempest Shakespeare's the Tempest and Chamoiseau's Solibo Magnificent Slavery Slavery is one of the central themes in The Tempest. However, there are many different levels of slavery included other than the typical master and servant relationship that is based on ownership. There are also instances of mental kind of slavery that it carried out by Prospero who can control the minds of others. The two forms of slavery are closely intertwined in a
This is, in fact, the basis of colonization as the natives are subdued and forced to abandon their language and traditions in favor of the colonizers'. Critics who supported the thesis of "The Tempest" being a description of the Spaniards' experience in the Americas considered Caliban to be a Native American despite the multitude of details that differentiate him from the Indians as they were described in the travelers' reports
Shakespeare Othello (1) My noble father, I do perceive here a divided duty: To you I am bound for life and education; My life and education both do learn me How to respect you; you are the lord of duty; I am hitherto your daughter: but here's my husband, And so much duty as my mother show'd To you, preferring you before her father, So much I challenge that I may profess Due to the Moor my lord. (Othello, Act 1, Scene
However, disorientation can be either debilitating or empowering. In the case of Shakespeare -- and arguably all Renaissance people of greatness -- the new concepts and materials were liberating, at least, and in fact enabled them to create works of lasting value. The world is familiar with Shakespeare: who can name one playwright from the Middle Ages? "Anonymous" was responsible for the Everyman plays, plays that say little to modern
As things are in the play, the text proves to be much more complicated. Thus, one significant element is Prospero's magic art and his powers. His great lore and his art give him an unusual power over the island and the people on it. Thus, after completing his act of justice, Prospero relinquishes his powers symbolically burying his 'staff' and drowning his book: "But this rough magic / I here
Tempest In Act I, scene 2 of Shakespeare's The Tempest, the protagonist Prospero explains his case to both his daughter and his familiar spirit Ariel. Thus, the main themes of the play are elucidated in this one scene more than any other. The concept of power, of power overused and power usurped are evident and constant in Act One, scene 2 of The Tempest. This early in the play, before the
The Epilogue, focus of much allegorizing, alludes to the parallel between Prospero's abandonment of his art, and the actor's abandonment of his role when he steps forward to ask for applause"(F. Kermode, 49) Prospero does not give away his ability to use magic, only because he has found redemption and he has put things right. It is a symbolic gesture, an attempt to make the reader and the individual member of