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Tempest in Act I Scene 2 Of Essay

Words: 990 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 39757385


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 audience is privy to the p[ersonalities of Alonso, Ferdinand, Antonia, Sebastian or the other, Prospero establishes the main theme through his characterization, his dialogue, and his stage presence: he embodies the main theme of power tempered with wisdom. Even thought Prospero's very act of bringing on the storm seems morally degenerate at first, the audience seems ironically sympathetic to him. We are led to believe that his birthright as a Duke lends him a sort of ultimate moral authority that would not have been proffered to him had his birth been more mundane. Moreover, his abuse of power is forgiven partly because of the uniqueness of his mystical powers and equally so because of his having been usurped from power by the victims of the storm, those who stole his title from him in the first place. The Tempest is largely about the triumph of justice and the nature of justice; through the main characters the playwright contemplates the absolute nature of justice itself. Shakespeare's play pits universal, divine justice against the human constructions of justice that constitute government and legal societies. In Act One, scene 2 in particular, Prospero states his case, both to his supernatural familiar Ariel and to his daughter Miranda. Shakespeare's play The Tempest poses a particularly peculiar problem because of the supernatural elements contained in the play. Like so many of Shakespeare's plays, The Tempest is founded on universal ethical values, which are brought about by clever…… [Read More]

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Tempest Shakespeare Essay

Words: 1647 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 62323400


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…… [Read More]

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Tempest Is a Play That Essay

Words: 1494 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 10667767

Miranda even says, "My father's of a better nature, sir,/Than he appears by speech" (I.ii.500-501). Shakespeare may have been writing Prospero like this only to juxtapose his warm nature at the end of the play, which gives the play a "and they lived happily ever after" feel.

Prospero uses his magic to control the spirit Ariel, which gives him a lot of power. Prospero knows of Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculos' plot to kill the king and he uses this knowledge to his own advantage. He thinks that when he takes back his throne in Milan, he can use it as blackmail against them. He thinks that they will do whatever he says because of this and because of the fact that Miranda will become queen one day.

Prospero shows his protective side as a father to Miranda. He tries to make sure that Ferdinand really loves Miranda by making her seem more difficult to get. He is worried that their love won't last and he doesn't want this for her. He wants to make sure that Ferdinand knows the greatness he is getting in the love of Miranda, which makes Prospero seem downright sweet, even if his language comes across as scheming and vindictive. It is very clear that he loves his daughter and wants only what is best for her.

By the end of the story, Prospero is able to forgive Antonio and Caliban, which shows how he has changed as a man. After Caliban has forced himself upon Miranda and has actually tried to kill Prospero himself, Prospero is able to find forgiveness for him. Prospero is even able to forgive his brother for taking his position in Milan and casting him and his daughter out to sea. It is precisely because of this change in Prospero from a vengeful, scheming man to a protective and forgiving man that he is…… [Read More]

Shakespeare, William. The Tempest (the Annotated Shakespeare). Yale University

Press; 1st edition, 2006. Print.
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Tempest Is One of William Essay

Words: 2035 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 98230737

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 from the New World. The traits that make Caliban resemble Native Americans are taken into consideration, but the differences are disregarded. The methods of control and torture that Prospero utilizes on Caliban remind of the Spanish; for instance, Prospero and Ariel hunt Caliban with spirit dogs, a method of capturing and torturing Native Americans that the Spaniards used (Skura: 49). However, Prospero also has Caliban pinched by the spirits whenever he curses. This ritual could be symbolical of the Haitian masters of slaves who burned them alive.

The literary critics who argue against the theme of colonization in "The Tempest" claim that rationalization (attempting to justify Prospero's cruelty towards Caliban by making the former seem good, and the latter inherently bad), is a technique which works against colonialism in Shakespeare's play because this way, Caliban is given the chance to exhibit a series of qualities which were not associated with savage men such as Caliban. Caliban represents anarchy, uprising and the unwillingness to surrender. These, however, were general traits shared by most of the natives who were faced with colonialism. In this sense, he is a generalized reflection of "the other" in the English imperialists' drive for hegemony overseas (Marshall: 387). Both Skura and Marshall challenge the idea that Prospero and Caliban are actors in the typical European-Native American colonial narrative. The Indian as the bogeyman which fits the Caliban mould does not exist until after 1622 whereas Shakespeare's play was written around 1610 (Marshall:…… [Read More]

Works Cited:
Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. Washington Square Press, 1994

Coursen, H.R. The Tempest a Guide to the Play. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000.
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Tempest In Major and Minor Essay

Words: 1326 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 4999127

The similar treatment of these very different minor characters highlight's Prospero's obsession with control, as well as his own return to the human world. Consider that although Prospero mourns his exile, he even uses captivity as an enticement for Miranda and Ferdinand's courtship, forcing the young man to carry wood like he does Caliban. The young man responds cheerfully, "There be some sports are painful, and their labor/Delight in them sets off: some kinds of baseness/Are nobly undergone and most poor matters/Point to rich ends. (3.1) But the comparison as well as the contrast between the suitor and the rapist in their similar labors and different emotional responses to that labor adds further depth to the pairing of freedom and captivity themes that structure the play.

Thus, all of the minor character in "The Tempest" highlight different forms of freedom and incarceration, and exist in binary oppositions only in their differing psychological and emotional responses to these themes. But even of the minor characters that are elemental in their depiction, there is some variation. Consider the freedom of language and rage that Caliban exhibits and the tyranny of Prospero's control over his body, and the similar plight of his mirror image Ariel, who also verbally bridles, then is silenced at the idea of being captive.

But Shakespeare's greatest contribution to the notion of minor or emblematic characters that represent different variations on a play's theme is that, although these characters are thematic in their significance on stage, this does not mean that Caliban does not suffer, any more than Ferdinand does not love Miranda. Even Ferdinand's cheerful rather than angry response to his enforced labors under Prospero's control are more significant to the plot in the way that they show his fitness as a human being, as well as what they represent.

Even the archetypal Caliban's suffering is perhaps most poignantly revealed when Trinculo notes, upon seeing him, "This is some monster of the isle with four legs, who hath got, as I take it, an ague. Where the devil should he learn our language? I will give him some relief, if it be but for that. If I can recover him and keep him tame and get to Naples with him, he's a present for any emperor that ever trod on neat's leather." Like Prospero, but for a…… [Read More]

Shakespeare, William. "The Tempest." 11 Jan 2005. MIT Shakespeare Homepage.
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Tempest Caliban in Shakespeare's the Essay

Words: 586 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 18991155

While Prospero is truly meant to be the main character in the Tempest, seeing the play performed live reminds us that it is actually Caliban who is most important. Michael Stewart Allen's performance of Caliban brought out the richness and complexity of the character, without reducing him to a crude stereotype - which is a direction that other, less talented actors may have chosen to go in. Rather than overacting, Allen's subtle approach effectively affirms the many ambiguities of Caliban's character that Shakespeare leaves open in his text. Despite the rich poetic lines and monologues that Shakespeare has given Caliban, the fact remains that he does not get to speak very often in the course of the play - especially when compared to Prospero, who seems to be speaking all the time. This ambiguity is exploited in the scene when Caliban affirms that he indeed attempted to rape Miranda, and would have if he had been able to, in order to populate the island with a race of Calibans. Allen does not allow for Caliban to seem sympathetic to the audience, as indeed he should not. At the same time, in his wonderful rendering of Caliban's monologues, he makes it clear to us that Caliban is more than simply a mere beast.

Reading the text of the Tempest and watching a contemporary interpretation of it, one definitely gets the sense that Caliban occupies an ambiguous space in Shakespeare's world. Only by unraveling the clues left by the author can a contemporary reader of the text gain insight into what Caliban was meant to symbolize in the world of the play.… [Read More]

Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. Retrieved 10 March 2008 at .
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Tempest After Prospero Gives His Blessing to Essay

Words: 822 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 18875121


After Prospero gives his blessing to the marriage between Ferdinand and Miranda, he summons Ariel and instructs him to call the spirits to perform a masque. The spirits appear in the shapes of Iris, Juno and Ceres. The masque is a performance of allegorical and mythical stories and it serves to emphasize various symbolic aspects that are important to the marriage between Ferdinand and Miranda, as well as to the thematic structure of The Tempest as a whole. "The betrothal masque in Act IV may be considered a play-within- the play, giving a timeless and general representation of the Ferdinand and Miranda narrative and illustrating the elaborate power of Prospero's art." ( Brown, J. 1969, 32)

The masque performed in the play has all the elements of growth, prosperity and happiness in society. What the masque achieves is a focus on the regenerative functions of marriage. In essence it is a celebration of hope and unity through love and marriage. This part of the play confirms Prospero's vision and hope for the future, both for Miranda and for society as a whole. It is part of his plot to heal the wrongs and hurtful experiences in the play and to promote a relationship that is pure and untainted by worldly evil. Bringing together Ferdinand and Miranda is a symbolic healing of the rifts, treachery and unhappiness of the past.

In essence The Tempest is a comment on society. The play is, to a large extent, a vision of the deceit and cruelty that exists within the society. These aspects are still existent in the character of Caliban. The marriage of Miranda and Ferdinand is a symbolic marriage of unification and regeneration in opposition to the decadence of the world. Prospero wants a marriage for Miranda that will transcend or go beyond the ills and…… [Read More]

Brown, R, (1969) Shakespeare: The Tempest. London: Edward Arnold

Coursen, H.R. (2000). The Tempest A Guide to the Play. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
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Tempest and on Cannibals Have Something to Essay

Words: 839 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 82039406

Tempest and "On Cannibals" have something to say to the emerging modern world order of the 16th century about non-Western peoples. What is Shakespeare trying to say about such peoples through the character of Caliban? What is Montaigne trying to say through the figure of the cannibal?

The Western Empire began to spread more through its use of knowledge than power. Through great explorations and intellectual predictions nations began to spread, conquering lands that lay beyond their borders and taking over people who were natives to these lands. The superiority of the West began to emerge and the concept of 'civilization' took a new form as the Western people invaded foreign lands, subjugating the natives with the notion of 'civilizing the savages'. It was considered a 'higher purpose', for the natives were seen as savages who had to be shown the path to knowledge and thus, salvation. The concept people of the times had of natives or foreigners was that they were all barbarians. No one could accept the intricate differences apparent between the nations of the West and those yet to develop and this led to a condemnation of the way of life of the foreigners.

Consider the words of MICHEL DE MONTAIGNE in his essay, "OF CANNIBALS" [1580] where he presents a scenario in his opening sentence, 'When King Pyrrhus invaded Italy, having viewed and considered the order of the army the Romans sent out to meet him: "I know not," said he, "what kind of barbarians ... ' These words show the preconceived notions that were held by the Westerners for even as they invaded they saw their opponents as barbarians regardless of the fact that they had never seen them. The only fact that remained unclear in this case was 'what kind of barbarian' they were facing. This concept is further clarified with Montaigne when he says, " ... I find that there is nothing barbarous and savage in this nation, by anything that I can gather, excepting, that every one gives the title of barbarism to everything that is not in use in his own country." [Montaigne, 1580] These words show that Montaigne was of the belief that the West developed so rapidly and was so confined within its own borders during the…… [Read More]

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Tempest 5 1 33-57 Analysis of a Passage Essay

Words: 988 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 28851526

The imagery of conflict between good and evil is carried further in the speech. For instance, in line 43 we have reference to the image of "mutinous winds" and to the image of " dread rattling thunder." All of these images contribute to the vision of a larger battle that rages between good and evil in the visible world and invisible world of magic and which influences and affects humanity. In this sense Shakespeare refers as well to the central Roman god Jove, who is the god of storms. (Act 5.Sc.1. 42-43)

In other words, these references are intended to imply that there is an underlying and larger battle that Prospero has been involved in worth the aid of his supernatural helpers that goes beyond purely personal elements. The power of Prospero's magic are is also suggested by the words "potent art." (Act 5.Sc.1. 50) This is amplified by the reference in the previous line to the potential of this magic to open graves and waken the dead.

Having stressed the immense power and possibility of his magic, Prospero then states in the last section of the speech that he intends to renounce or "adjure" his magical powers. One of the reasons for this decision could be seen in the word " rough " that he uses to describe his magic. This may imply that his powers are possibly imprecise and too destructive - in other words that they are instruments that are dangerous and should not be used lightly.

Another reason for his decision is that Prospero realizes that although his knowledge is great and he has command of powerful magical forces, he is also aware of the potential for corruption and evil that exists in the human heart. Over this aspect he has no control. The realization of the propensity for evil in the human heart is perhaps a reason for the sense of sadness that pervades this much of the rest of the play.

Prospero therefore states that after he has concluded these events and corrected the imbalance in society he will "...break my staff" (Act 5.Sc.1. 50) in other words, he will break the…… [Read More]

Works Cited:
Shakespeare, W. The Tempest. Pretoria: De Jager- HAUM. 1988.
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Tempest -- Act 2 Scene Act 2 Essay

Words: 737 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 34552470

Tempest -- Act 2, Scene

Act 2, Scene 2. This scene is a short scene, with only the characters of Caliban, Trinculo, and Stephano present. It opens with Caliban carrying wood to Prospero, his master, and being tormented by spirits only he can see. Caliban hides under his cloak because of a storm. Trinculo enters, and sees Caliban, and thinks he is a monster. He hides under the cloak too, because of the storm. Stephano enters singing and drinking from a bottle. He discovers Trinculo, and they both are happy they have survived the shipwreck. They think Caliban is a monster, and if they capture him he can be sold for good money. Caliban convinces them he will honor them if they will let him serve them. They agree, and they leave, drinking and singing.

This scene is humorous, but it also packs a lot of information into relatively few lines. The theme is light and the characters banter with each other, but the underlying mood is dark, because the scene is really about slavery and bondage, and what Caliban's life is like as a slave. He constantly worries about punishment "For bringing wood in slowly. I'll fall flat" (Shakespeare II, ii, 16), and when he finds someone (Stephano) he thinks will be a better master, he humiliates himself begging to be of service. He tells Stephano "I'll kiss they foot. I'll swear myself thy subject" (Shakespeare II, ii, 158). Thus, he is not ready for freedom, but he is ready to give his allegiance to anyone that he thinks will be a better master. The tone of this is light and funny, but underneath it is sad, because Caliban cannot see himself as anything other than a slave serving others -- he does not see himself as free, even though he says he is free at the end of the scene. He says, "Freedom, high-day! High-day, freedom! Freedom, high-day, freedom!" (Shakespeare II, ii, 192-193). But he is not really free, he has just changed masters, so he is still bound to someone else, rather than being his own man and that ultimately makes this scene dark and thought provoking.

Since this modern day story would…… [Read More]

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Tempest -- the Blockbuster a Essay

Words: 1121 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 70439353

He would need to do that here, for sure.

Caliban is a slave, which might be a problem for the actor. He is also a drunkard in some scenes, calling for understanding and a physical presence, too. Foxx has the physique necessary for this assignment, too. He could certainly carry off wearing a loin-cloth and cloak, as the wood-carrying scene seems to require. He is a master of both physical and mental acting, and that would be important with this character, who can be both brutal and endearing. There could be a problem with Foxx. Caliban requires an actor who can be both commanding and very subservient. He is fearful of "spirits." "Here comes a spirit of his, and to torment me" (Shakespeare 77, 15), and he offers to lick Trinculo's foot simply for a drink. "I will kiss thy foot" (Shakespeare 85, 155). Whoever plays Caliban has to represent many personalities. Strong enough to conspire, and meek enough to follow, and Foxx seems like the best.

Trinculo: This is a minor part, and so, an infamous actor probably wouldn't want to do it. However, the part has some bright spots. Trinculo could be shown bravely "swimming to shore like a duck" (Shakespeare 85, 133), setting the stage for the action to come. He should be good-looking, and not too smart, but not too ignorant either. Perhaps a good choice here would be singer Nick Lachey. He would certainly appeal to younger audiences, and since much of the time he appears on stage, he has to appear drunk, he might be appealing as a good-looking, yet brooding drunkard. He also has to seem greedy and scheming, yet a survivor and it seems if Nick can survive marriage to Jessica, he can survive about anything.

Trinculo also often refers to Caliban as a monster, which shows that he is a bit prejudiced and looks down on servants -- indeed he sees Caliban as nothing more than a drunken servant and monster who is only good for his contempt. Thus, Trinculo is a shallow character, and using too experienced or in-depth actor would really ruin his character. It…… [Read More]

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Solibo Tempest Colonial Themes in Essay

Words: 895 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 69743398

The different understandings of the world are indicative of differences in class just as they are a cause for racism, and again the characters of Solibo Magnificent have found a way to work in this system rather than resisting it.

In addition to systems of class distinction and outright racism, other instances of general discrimination can be found throughout these texts. The Tempest has only one character that is necessarily female (Ariel is somewhat ambiguous), and the way she is treated along with her degree of disenfranchisement seems to suggest a definite gender discrimination at work. Miranda seems to sense this to some degree, and ultimately takes some agency in her romance with Ferdinand, whereas the musician described early in Solibo Magnificent is seen in a discriminatory light that shows no promise of changing: he is treated a certain way and even called a certain name because of "his notorious oral attentions to bottles of Neisson rum," yet the crowd continues to insist things from this man, and he simply puts up with it (10).

One of the more poignant moments in the beginning of the Tempest comes when Caliban recounts the way in which he was initially treated kindly by Prospero, saying, "and then I loved thee, / and showed thee all the qualities o'th' isle, / the fresh springs, brine-pits, barren place and fertile" (I, ii., 399-401). This is much the same as many native tribes, that initially showed Europeans the lay of the land and the means of survival in a very cooperative way, but were eventually subjugated or wiped out, and is a direct comment on colonialism and its potential buses. By the time Solibo Magnificent was written, colonialism had already taken hold, and though the characters of this novel seem aware of this difference they do not chafe under it in the same way that Caliban does. This suggests that the differences of the colonial powers and the indigenous population have come to be taken for granted; generations of subjugation and the status quo have killed off thoughts of resistance.

Literature does not always paint the most beautiful picture of humanity, but then literature does not necessarily strive to be beautiful. Above all else, good literature strives to be true and accurate in its portrayal of human beings individually and humanity collectively.…… [Read More]

Chamoiseau, Patrick. Solibo Magnificent. New York: Anchor.

Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. Accessed 16 March 2011.
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Non-Western Societies Tempest and of Cannibals the Essay

Words: 692 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 80819187

Non-Western Societies

Tempest and of Cannibals

The idea that Europeans brought enlightenment to the savage colonies has always fascinated modern writers so much so that many of them employed their imagination to create pictures of 'barbaric' individuals who inhabited these colonies. Shakespeare and Montaigne in their attempts to recreate those savage communities gave us the powerful characters of Caliban and Cannibal. Focusing on this obsession of writers with the image of a savage non-western man, Bartra (1994) writes: "The identity of the "civilized" has always been flanked by the image of the Other, yet the common image of the Other as a wild and barbaric figure, as opposed to Western man, has been considered a reflection - albeit distorted - of non-Western peoples, a eurocentric expression of colonial expansion from which evolved an exotic and racist version of those whom the conquistadors and colonizers had discovered and subdued." [p. 3]

While Shakespeare borrowed heavily from Montaigne's essay, Of Cannibals, as far as the core concept was concerned but his reason for creating a non-western character was entirely different from that of Montaigne. Montaigne was more interested in exploring the untainted, pure and almost heavenly side of the inhabitant of an unadulterated society. On the other, Shakespeare believed that savagery is not connected with enlightenment or lack of it, it is essentially an inner trait that anyone can possess regardless of his social circumstances. The essential difference of belief is evident from the characters that the two writers created.

Montaigne's sole reason for writing Of Cannibals was to highlight and accentuate the importance of a wild non-western man. He believed that someone who had not been exposed to the realities of the modern world was essentially an uncontaminated soul that represents the heavenly ideals of purity. Discussing the nature of Montaigne's fascination with non-western societies, O'Toole writes: "[Montaigne] presents a highly idealized characterization of the natives of the New World. He perceives these "cannibals," as he calls them, to be men who live in the way Nature intends them to live, unadorned and unfettered by modern civilization.…… [Read More]

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Compare and Contrast of Uprisings in Tempest and Oroonoko Essay

Words: 1181 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 9014280

Island's Mine!" (Caliban, in Shakespeare's "The Tempest," 1.2)

Comparison between the slave rebellions of Shakespeare's "The Tempest" and Aphra Behn's "Oroonoko"

One of the most poignant statements in all of Shakespeare's "Tempest" is the assertion by the work's 'villain,' Caliban, that the island of the play's setting really and rightfully belongs in his ownership, not Prospero's. "This island's mine, by Sycorax my mother, / Which thou takest from me." (1.2) It is Prospero, Caliban alleges, who is the interloper, who took the island away from the control conferred to him by the witch who gave birth to him. Caliban, of course is right in the sense that other than possessing a greater power of sorcery, and by virtue of landing upon the island, Prospero as a human man has no right to control and dominate the island, any more than the protagonists of Aphra Behn's later work "Oroonoko" have to be dominated as slaves.

However, Caliban's claim upon the island, however territorially justified, and indeed justified by the right of succession (which was something quite important as a value in Shakespeare's Elizabethan and Jacobean England) is constantly deflated by the 'creature's own brutality. Caliban attempted to rape Prospero's daughter Miranda. He is powerless in the face of Prospero's book knowledge and learning. And lastly, Caliban is very easily taken in by the machinations of the two clownish imports from the mainland, Stephano and Trinculo. These two alcoholic individuals proceed to get Caliban drunk for the first time. All the while they comically (in the audience's eyes) plot overthrowing Prospero. Caliban wants what is rightfully his, but Stephano and Trinculo merely want to be rulers because they do not have a similar claim to power in their own society and royal milieu back home. Caliban is so naive he calls these fools both powerful sorcerers. "I'll swear…… [Read More]

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Williams Terry Tempest Refuge An Essay

Words: 1011 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 4367094

After examining her national and family history, Williams came to believe that the 1950's aboveground detonation of a nuclear bomb near her family's home could be the source of her family's struggle with cancer, as well as the cause of the community's propensity to contract cancer as a whole. Williams details her feelings about this fact in a personal as well as a clinical manner. This is not simply a natural and historical tragedy, but a tragedy she must live with for the rest of her own life -- she will never have another mother, just as many of the flooded-out birds will never have another home. The author admits that the bomb she remembers seeing explode as a young child, the bomb that could have caused the cancer that killed her mother, haunts her in her dreams.

Thus her search for a source of blame for an apparently random act of sickness and suffering is not simply fantasy on the part of the author. It is based in clinical evidence. Likewise, the difficulties the birds experience are not like a random flood that occurs 'naturally' at times in nature. If the government had not allowed the over-development, the wild creatures could have found a home. As with the nuclear testing, the government placed life as a lower priority than money -- it was more important to test the bombs for the military industrialist complex and protect people from the Russians in theory, than to protect the future of the population's health in fact -- just as it was deemed more important to give people jobs in the short-term than to protect the environment to save human and animal health in the long-term.

Thus, where is the refuge, in the midst of all of this suffering of the environment, and in terms of human and animal life, both for the author and the reader? The desert and sanctuary beloved by the…… [Read More]

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Ellison Shakespeare There Are Many Characters in Shakespeare's Essay

Words: 1281 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 90564507


There are many characters in Shakespeare's The Tempest that could fit the characteristics of being the "little man behind the stove." The Tempest has a strong degree of dramatic irony, and Shakespeare even incorporates the breaking of the fourth wall in the final scene of the play. This means that the audience itself serves as the "little man behind the stove." However, there are clearer characters that represent the little man. For example, Caliban is "little" in the sense that he is a sort of subhuman creature. As the son of Sycorax, Caliban is portrayed as being a little bit odd and different. He is not like the spritely Ariel, who can also be considered as a "little man." Both Caliban and Ariel play roles that could be construed as being similar to that of Ellison's "Little Man at Chehaw Station." Caliban's role is even more like that of the "little man behind the stove" than Ariel's. This is because Caliban is set apart from Prospero as one of the clear antagonists of the play. Caliban is more of a technical observer like Ellison's little man than is Ariel, who participates more in Prospero's antics than Caliban. Yet neither Caliban nor Ariel completely meet the description of Ellison's little man behind the stove. Prospero is the ultimate embodiment of what Ralph Ellison was trying to convey with his essay "The Little Man at Chehaw Station." Prospero is a mysterious figure, whose self-taught powers of intellect and magic form the foundation of Shakespeare's play.

When Ralph Ellison wrote "The Little Man at Chehaw Station," he most likely did not have Shakespeare's The Tempest in mind -- in spite of his reference to Hamlet halfway through the piece. Ellison's essay is written to illustrate Ellison's own creative and personal psychological development. The author relays a story about his upbringing, during which his ego was shattered after a poor performance at a school music recital. When he speaks with Miss Harrison, Ellison has a transformation of spirit that he shares in "The Little Man at Chehaw Station." Harrison tells Ellison that they key to becoming a great artist is to practice as if there is always someone important listening. The audience should never be underestimated. Ellison notes that the man behind Chehaw's stove is one that appears to be poor and uneducated, someone who does…… [Read More]

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Shakespeare Othello 1 My Noble Father I Essay

Words: 1506 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 32434433


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 iii, lines 179-188)

Desdemonda's character is defined early in Shakespeare's Othello. She plays a supportive role, allowing the nature of Othello's character to emerge clearly by the end of the play. Here, Desdemonda defends both herself and her husband. The passage tells the audience much about gender roles and norms in Elizabethan society, as Desdemonda speaks of her father as the "lord of duty," and refers to a similar "duty" to her husband. Women are defined in terms of their relationships with men, and not on their own terms or judged by the content of their own character. Instead, she must refer to herself and her mother in terms of their "divided duties" to first father, and then later, to husband. The husband takes the place of the father as one who "lords" over the woman. The perceived inferiority of women may indeed be one reason why Othello opts later to trust Iago more than Desdemonda; although Shakespeare does not delve too deeply into gender issues. Even if women did not enjoy full political and social parity, Desdemonda speaks with sufficient clarity and confidence, emphasizing her education while speaking with her father.

Even though Desdemonda is the speaker, this passage ultimately tells the audience as much if not more about the titular character Othello than about his wife. One of Othello's tragic flaws is his inability to discriminate between those he…… [Read More]

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Exile Literary Characters in Exile Can Be Essay

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Literary Characters in Exile

Exile can be the self-imposed banishment from one's home or given as a form of punishment. The end result of exile is solitude. Exile affords those in it for infinite reflection of themselves, their choices, and their lives in general. Three prominent literary characters experience exile as part of the overall narrative and in that, reveal a great deal about themselves to themselves as well as to the readers. The three narratives in questions are "The Epic of Gilgamesh," "The Tempest," and "Things Fall Apart." All of the main characters of these narratives experience exile as a result of actions taken by the protagonists at earlier points in the story. The protagonist in each respective story are exiled because of their choices and the exile forces each character to face consequences that ultimately bring their inner character to the surface in a more direct manner than prior experiences or actions by these characters. The characters Gilgamesh, Prosper, and Okonwo experience exile, which alienate them from their homelands, induces physical & emotional pain, yet the experience of exile make possible their perseverance over obstacles that enriches their lives and reveals their true characters.

The first protagonist for examination is Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh chose exile himself. His exile was self imposed. He chose exile of his own free will. He perceives exile as a spiritual journey as well as emotional experience. Gilgamesh was a king with an intense selfish streak. Gilgamesh lacks compassion for his fellow human beings. His main urge in life was to usurp power from others, as "Gilgamesh was a tyrant to his people." (Mason, 15) Through the experience of friendship, Gilgamesh learns not only that he is capable of caring for another person, but also he learns how to care for another person outside of himself. More importantly, he learns to perceive companionship and compassion as strengths and not as liabilities. Furthermore, the security that Gilgamesh finds in his friendship increases his self-confidence as "Gilgamesh was certain with his friend beside him." (Mason, 31)

In…… [Read More]

Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York: First Anchor Books Edition, 1994.

Mason, Herbert. Gilgamesh A Verse Narrative. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2003.