Portrayal Of Utopia In The Tempest

1683 words - 7 pages

Portrayal of Utopia in The Tempest

 
     In The Tempest, Shakespeare allows the audience to appreciate the possibilities of utopian society and whatever this may posses.  Being the good, and bad so that they can see that problems can arise in such a society. The Tempest can be thus seen as a window into the dimensions of utopian societies. While his characters take on the role of the leaders of the utopian societies, Shakespeare uses his creation to portray the social questions and beliefs of society of how a utopian environment should be.

 

Essential to the discussion of this aspect of The Tempest is the definition of a "Utopia". For different characters this "utopia" means different things. First of all and maybe most important of all, as it is she who says it, Miranda's utopia consists of a populated world with many other human beings in it. This can be seen as created by the way she has been kept in relative isolation due to her father’s action.  Human beings, in whatever forms they come in are a fascination for her, and something that she longs to see.  Other characters on the other hand have a whole manner of different ideas of utopia and versions of their "utopia". Caliban's utopia changes throughout the play and Gonzalo's utopia seems somewhat confusing as he has two ideas which seem to contradict each other.  What is underlined here is that the view of Utopia does not remain stagnant, it is a constant changing process depending on one’s life experiences and points of view.

 

More specifically Prospero's utopia is a reflection of  what society at that time believed to be a utopia. This being an easy existence, void of manual labor, with all of their time spent on the pursuit of greater knowledge and example of the hold of The Enlightenment period fuelled by scientists such as Galileo and philosophers such as Locke, Hobbes and Descartes.

 

However simultaneously the view of Antonio's utopia is the picture of evil. His own evil intentions and deceitful gain of power fuelled by ego centric views, were what people of that time would have labeled a dystopia, the opposite of a utopia. 

Specifically referring to Miranda's utopia we can see how she takes a rather naïve view on what a Utopian society should hold. As aforementioned all her life she has been isolated on the island seeing no-one but her father as well as his slaves Ariel and Caliban, and therefore upon seeing other beings she is amazed and overcome by her new discovery. In seeing the demise of the ship she claims ‘Had I been any God of power, I would have sunk the sea within earth or ere’, this isolates her desperation in saving something so magical and indeed alien to her. In the closing scene Miranda also exclaims rather naively; ‘How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world/That has such people in’t’.  The irony is fuelled by how this whole scenario has not been based on truth or scientific discovery as fuelled by Enlightenment debate but...

Find Another Essay On Portrayal of Utopia in The Tempest

The Theme of Colonialism in Shakespeare's Tempest

2640 words - 11 pages perils of the struggle of exploration. Also the title of the play is The Tempest which also hints how powerful the storms of the ocean are, that it can determine the fate of many people as seen in the play; and is relatable to real life events such as the one described earlier. The Tempest also reflect the concerns of the times such as the exploration of foreign lands and struggles for power and the colonization of lands as seen in the role of the

Importance of Language in Shakespeare's The Tempest

1866 words - 7 pages    There are many different interpretations and differences of opinion regarding the genre of The Tempest, a play by William Shakespeare. In the essays "The Backward Voice": Puns and the Comic Subplot of The Tempest, by Maurice Hunt, and The Tempest as Romance and Anti-Romance, by Richard Hillman, the genre of the play is discussed in depth. Using elements such as setting, lines of the characters, and the action that occurs in the play, the

The Portrayal of Youth in the Media

1280 words - 5 pages The Portrayal of Youth in the Media Introduction I am going to write a peace of coursework on how young children and the media portrays young adults. I will see how different media pieces give their views on how the youth of today and how they portray them as thugs and disturbers of the peace or as obliging but misunderstood people. Development I am going to study the two pieces of media. The first one I

The Portrayal of Women in the Aeneid

2389 words - 10 pages How much control do women have over their emotions in the Aeneid? In his poem, Virgil frequently shows women in situations where irrational thoughts lead to harmful choices. Specifically, Virgil presents women as being easily influenced by their emotions. Consequently, these characters make decisions that harm both themselves and those around them. Throughout Aeneas’s journey, divinities such as Juno and Venus are seen taking advantage of

Themes in the Tempest

1333 words - 5 pages 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

Magic in the Tempest

715 words - 3 pages The Tempest, written in 1611, was one of William Shakespeare's last plays. It has a combination of superb characters, interesting settings, and a good plot line--all held together by the running theme of magic, and its ever-present importance. A closer examination of the magic in The Tempest, and the public's view of magic at the time, will give insight as to Shakespeare's choice of magic as a theme, and why it has made the play so successful

Portrayal of Women in the Twentieth Century

1050 words - 4 pages the most prominent perceptions the authors portray. Both pieces of Modern literature differ in the perception of a woman’s rightful role as well as the importance of family in relation to monetary wealth. Fitzgerald and Steinbeck’s views conflict on the value and portrayal of women. A woman in this century rarely challenges a man’s superiority, nor thinks or acts independently. Two mothers, Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby and Ma Joad

The Portrayal of Women in Advertising

1222 words - 5 pages Within this essay I plan to discuss the portrayal of women in contemporary advertising and focus around the ideologies of the male gaze according to Laura Mulvey. Laura Mulvey is a feminist film theorist commonly known for her controversial essay, “visual pleasure and narrative cinema” written in 1973. This piece went on to be published in the influential British film journey screen. (Hein,2008) Her written views have achieved to shift the

The Portrayal of Women in American Literature

2229 words - 9 pages The Portrayal of Women in American Literature Throughout American Literature, women have been depicted in many different ways. The portrayal of women in American Literature is often influenced by an author's personal experience or a frequent societal stereotype of women and their position. Often times, male authors interpret society’s views of women in a completely different nature than a female author would. While F. Scott Fitzgerald

Portrayal of Hispanics in the Media

1452 words - 6 pages period, about 60 percent of the papers had no coverage of Latinos at all. (Temple) In another study, the 2006 Network Brownout Report, Hispanics were featured in less than one percent of around 12,600 stories in 2005. (Temple) Researchers found that 18 percent of the news stories about Latinos involved crime in which Latinos were the perpetrators. (Temple) By looking at the results of these studies, one can conclude that the portrayal of

The Portrayal of Female Athletes in Film

812 words - 3 pages The Portrayal of Female Athletes in Film Portrayals and stories of women in sport and film are varied and unique to the woman, but some common threads can be found throughout these films. Understanding the culture of sport and how women are depicted as athletes in movies shows how society at large views women. The perseverance and strength of women athletes in unjust or unfair situations regarding their sport is a very important and all too

Similar Essays

Utopia And "The Tempest" Essay

1035 words - 4 pages A utopia is defined as a perfect society. In order to create such a place there would have to be an equal division of chaos and order. Some examples of this can be seen in the play "The Tempest". When people are thrown onto an island with complete anarchy and no authority figure, human instinct takes over and the ability to decipher between right and wrong completely disappears. The following essay will depict the perfect utopia and examples in

The Role Of Women In Utopia An

3072 words - 12 pages ROLE OF WOMEN ESSAY When reviewing literature, a major question being posed lately is what exactly are women's roles in various books. The works, which I am particularly concerned with in this essay, are William Shakespeare's "Othello" and Thomas More's "Utopia". I will be examining various themes of "Othello", in order to figure out where exactly women fit in with the work. These include things like the symbols used, the expectations and

The Oppression Of Miranda In The Tempest

2094 words - 8 pages The Oppression of Miranda  in The Tempest                    Miranda's schooling in The Tempest shows the audience the conflicting arrangement white women in the Shakespearean drama as well as Shakespearean times are forced to act within.  Paul Brown points out that "the discourse of sexuality…offers the crucial nexus for the various domains of colonialist discourse" (208) and the conduct in Prospero manipulates his followers' sexuality is

Importance Of Environment In Shakespeare's The Tempest

2000 words - 8 pages Importance of Environment in The Tempest    The island is full of noises; Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight,” says Caliban. The responses which the characters in The Tempest offer to their immediate surroundings reveal much about their individual traits, at the same time they allow the audience glimpses of Prospero's island as different parts of the island are isolated in the play. The island itself and the sea that surrounds it