Shakespeare Land of Enchantment From Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

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 the public a magician in his turn, a magician of his own mind, first of all.

The theatre has always had a more emphasized social value than any other type of literary fiction, primarily because of its ability to be acted out in front of people, as if it were happening for real. The impact is so strong, that it allows people to release their emotional tension and to make merry together with the characters of the play. It is a work that celebrates the diversity and beauty of life that should culminate in a state of harmony and peace of mind, brought by marriage and sincere love.

The tempest" could be compared to another of Shakespeare's plays and that is "A

Midsummer Night's Dream." Both works suspend time and space and introduce the reader into a mythical atmosphere, where fairies, airy spirits enter the life of humans. On the whole they exercise their power for beneficent ends. In both cases the action takes place in the wildness, the forest or the island, away from the restrictions of society and its prejudices. As Prospero is an all-knowing and powerful master of the island, so is Oberon from "A Midsummer Night's Dream," the God and the forest is his creation. Oberon manipulates the life of others much like Prospero does. He has Puck, Ariel's counterpart drop some of the juice from the flower on Titania's eyes, he will have Puck drop some of it too up on Demetrius's, making him requite Helena's passion.

Under the spell of an illusion, the young people- very understandably- take their new feelings and perceptions for reality. They too are challenged to cope with a world of illusion, not being able to distinguish between the imaginary and the real anymore. They live in a continually charmed present:" Four nights will quickly steep themselves in night / Four nights will quickly dream away the time"(Shakespeare). "The dream, takes on a more profound significance, it recognizes the reality of romance. Men must love and their love is power and charter to break all opposing ancient privileges. And love refuses to go hand in hand with reason"(H.B. Charlton)

Although they resemble in so many ways, "The tempest" uses a more complex technique, starting with the figure of the magician, that like a demiurge builds the happenings out of nothing. From the very beginning he turns events, playing with them according to his own will.

It deals in illusions- not in the theatrical illusions of reality, but in the reality of theatrical illusions; as if Prospero in charge of the plot, spirits and machines, were after all a figure of the playwright himself, showing what depths may be found in traps and flying-machines and music in the right places."(Frank Kermode, 49)

Sound, or better said music is a key element of the play. It is a means by which the soul is elevated. Music fascinates human beings, and Ariel and his master use it as one of their strong weapons.

But Shakespeare introduced the musical effect in order to perfect his theatrical experience. The play challenges our senses putting our imagination as well as our intelligence to work. The power wielded by Prospero, which seemed unsettling at first, is actually the source of all of our pleasure in the drama. In fact, it is the reason we came to the theater in the first place.

Shakespeare's "The Tempest" brings to our mind a more recent novel, Fowles's "A Magus." It comes as no surprise that Shakespeare's work is still influential, numerous writers finding their inspiration and themes in his plays or poems. Fowles makes use of the same grace and grandeur and luxuriant style. His novel raises a question mark in what concerns the relationship between nature- civilization- art.Although these two works represent, first of all, two different genres, then two different periods of time, they empower fiction with a vital mission: describing not an 'unreal' or an 'impossible' universe but a 'probable impossibility'(Aristotle). Fiction makes up amazing events to replace the mythical explanation of reality. It is its ultimate goal to give an account for why things are the way they are.

Works Cited

Charlton, H.B.: 'Shakespearian Comedy': Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1967

Kermode, Frank: 'Shakespeare: The Final Plays': Longmans, Green & Co, 1965

Shakespeare, William: 'The Tempest'. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Retrieved: May 1, 2007.

Shakespeare, William: 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Retrieved: May 1, 2007.

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