To What Extent Is Shakespeare's Play The Tempest About The Power Of The Theatre?

1091 words - 4 pages

To What Extent is The Tempest a Play About the Power of the Theatre?There can be no doubt that The Tempest contains numerous references to the theater, and while many of Shakespeare's plays make reference to the dramatic arts and their analogy to real life (e.g., "all the world's a stage"), it is in this, his last play, that the Bard most explicitly acknowledges that the audience is viewing a show. Thus, in the play's final scene Prospero tells his prospective son-in-law Ferdinand that the revels at hand are almost at an end, that the actors are about to retire, and that the "insubstantial pageant" of which he has been a part has reached its conclusion. It is, in fact, tempting to equate the character of Prospero with that of his creator, the playwright Shakespeare. When Prospero sheds his magician's robes in favor of his civilian attire as the Duke of Milan, with the benefit of hindsight that this is Shakespeare's last work and his crowning achievement, we are disposed to associate the learned sorcerer with the Bard of Avon. .Prospero, like Shakespeare , is a mature man with a daughter (Shakespeare having two daughters) at the height of his intellectual and creative powers. Prospero is a polymath, a scholar with a magic book from an entire library that so absorbed him that it was, "dukedom large enough" (I, ii. l.110). Prospero displays a tinge of regret for having neglected his worldly office as Duke of Milan in favor of the life of the mind. Similarly, as virtually all of Shakespeare's biographers have observed, the Elizabethan playwright's knowledge was exceedingly broad, leading many to speculate that he pursued a number of vocations before settling into a life in the theater, and we know from textual correspondences that Shakespeare was broadly read and that he continued to absorb knowledge from diverse publications until his death. We can also speculate that Shakespeare regretted remaining away from his home in Stratford, at least insofar as his career in London kept him away from his children. Lastly, following The Tempest, Shakespeare, like Prospero, retired to civilian life, there being a period of five or six years between his composition of that play and his untimely death at the age of fifty-two.Beyond these surface biographical parallels, Prospero's role is less that of a character than that of the imaginative or creative force behind the play itself. After the pageant of the goddesses who bless the union of Miranda and Ferdinand, Prospero explains that the effigies which they have seen are "Spirits, which by mine art/I have from their confines call'd to enact/My present fancies" (IV, i., ll.120-121). Prospero underscores that what is taking place in the play is under his control and is, in fact, his creation. Thus, when Miranda worries about the fate of those exposed to the shipwreck at the start of the play, her father reassures her that despite the appearances of disaster, none of the boat's passengers or crew have been harmed in...

Find Another Essay On To what extent is Shakespeare's play The Tempest about the power of the theatre?

The Role of Language in Shakespeare's Play The Tempest

1191 words - 5 pages The Role of Language in Shakespeare's Play The Tempest 1 The role of language in Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest” is quite significant. To Miranda and Prospero the use of language is a means to knowing oneself. Caliban does not view language in the same light. Prospero taught Caliban to speak, but instead of creating the feeling of empowerment from language, Caliban reacts in insurrectionary manner. Language reminds him how different he is

Comment closely on act III scene III of Shakespeare's "THE TEMPEST" and show its relevance to the whole play

961 words - 4 pages Shakespeare's "The Tempest" is a play about a man named Prospero, once the Duke of Milan, who was usurped by his younger brother, Antonio, with the help of Alonso, the king of Naples. He was left on the sea with his baby daughter, Miranda, to die but luckily he survives on an island. By some force of fate, a ship containing his traitors is nearby. Prospero uses magic, whose study cost him his dukedom, to cause a tempest and to bring the traitors

To what extent has your personal response to The Tragedy of Othello has been shaped by the enduring power of Shakespeare's characterisation of Othello.

1168 words - 5 pages My personal response to Othello has been completely shaped by Shakespeare's characterization of Othello. The themes and ideas that Shakespeare tried to convey through the play are all done through the characterization of his characters.Othello is predominantly a traditional Shakespearean tragedy shadowed with post-colonial aspects. This view is supported and demonstrated through the characterization of Othello in Othello.Through Othello's

How is Patriarchal and Gender Power shown in Shakespeare's 'The Tempest'?

906 words - 4 pages The ideas of patriarchal and gender power are illustrated extensively in Shakespeare's 'The Tempest' through the relationships portrayed in the play, and the play's symbolic depiction of colonialism.First and foremost, 'The Tempest' was written in the Jacobean period - a period where society was still most strongly patriarchal. This can be seen as 'the Tempest' is set in a completely patriarchal society; where all positions of power are held by

Exploring Shakespeare's Presentation of the Theme of Power in The Tempest

1968 words - 8 pages get what he believes to be his island back. Ultimately Prospero is able to control all of the characters in the play, because of his magical powers and the ability to know what each of them is doing, and the fact he put them there in the first place. A prominent symbol of Prospero?s power is the raging tempest at the start of the play. It is the tempest that shipwrecks the boat, and brings the other characters onto the

Timberlake Wertenbaker : Our Country's Good - The redemptive power of theatre : How does the experience of putting on a play affect the characters in Our Country's Good.

3519 words - 14 pages people were in and to show the redemptive power of the theatre in a new more powerful light. Timberlake Wertenbaker said:"It is a modern play. I'm trying to write about how people are treated, what it means to be brutalized, what it means to live without hope, and how theatre can be a humanising force."Timberlake achieved this as you can see in these comments:"Rarely has the redemptive, transcendental power of theatre been argued with such eloquence

"Whose afraid of Virginia Woolf?"-'What this play demonstrates is that power ultimately lies neither in physical strength nor in emotional pressure,but in communication'.To what extent do you agree?

1974 words - 8 pages I agree to a large extent with this statement since the majority of emotional pressure on characters is caused by communication, and hardly any power is demonstrated by sheer physical strength and attributes in this play.The three characters that power fluctuates to and from within the play are George, Nick and Martha. Honey is the frail, weak and innocent character of the play since most of the time throughout she's drunk and throwing up in the

To what extent is the play "The Glass Menagerie" the biography of Tennessee William's life?

1241 words - 5 pages . Williams' father was a heavy drinker and occasionally fraternised with "light ladies". Tom's father was also a drinker, which Tom reluctantly follows. Meanwhile, in the play Amanda accuses Tom of leading a sordid life where his excuse for going to the movies is just a lie. It foreshadows the fact that Tom was living in the footsteps of his father's life.Thus, it is evident that a large part of this play relates back to Williams' own life. In some cases, he tries to express his own difficulties and unfairness in life through the character Tom. These memories must have been quite meaningful which led him in writing a play that reflects about his past.

"Ground Control" - To What extent could the concept of "service as theatre" be applied to Starbucks?

1185 words - 5 pages evidence. The example of that can be seen in the article Ground Control.Today, people are very dependable on and very involved in services as common part of their living. Like in real life as McColl-Kennedy (2003) mentioned with services it takes act, performance and experience to deliver a service.To What extent could the concept of "service as theatre" be applied to Starbucks?For better understanding of services some of the main factors should

A view from the bridge: To what extent can the play be said to be about competing notions of justice?

1356 words - 5 pages immigrants entered the country. But I don’t think you want to do anything about that, do you?’ Eddie is astounded at the mere thought. How preposterous it would be to go against the rules of his heritage.As the plot of the play unfolds towards the end, Eddie’s true thoughts are unveiled. The tension between Roldolpho and himself is far too great. He resorts to the only thing left he can do…He calls the immigration bureau and

"Shylock's Downfall". To what extent is Shylock responsible for his downfall in the play The Merchant Of Venice?

2757 words - 11 pages assumptions about Jews. This heavily reflects the sentiments during Shakespeare's time and his portrayal of the Jewish character in the play; The Merchant of Venice also is consistent with the stereotypes. Shakespeare uses Shylock to show society their own mistreatment of minorities and hence Shylock can be thought of as the hero, a martyr, of the play.

Similar Essays

The Abuse Of Power In Shakespeare's Play, The Tempest

992 words - 4 pages The play, The Tempest, by William Shakespeare is a very cleverly thought out piece of work. Shakespeare very deliberately inter-relates several different forms of power during the course of the play. There is political power, shown through the plethora of political characters and their schemes, while at the same time parodied by the comic characters. The power of magic and love, and its ability to reunite and absolve also plays a major role in

Issues Of Power And Control Are Evident From The Start Of The Play. To What Extent Do You Find The Truth Of This Statement Reflected In Acts I & Ii Of 'the Tempest'?

1076 words - 4 pages by control? It can be seen in plenty of Shakespeare’s plays, especially in ‘Othello’, where the need for power, not only by military position, but also the control over manipulation of others, that the plot is often based around man’s unquenchable thirst for supremacy. This, in a certain light, can be seen as the basis of all literature and, under the circumstances of unequal sharing of power in ‘The Tempest’ that brings about the evil affairs in act I and II. Whether this theme continues throughout the rest of this unique and surprising play remains to be seen. Bibliography - 'William Shakespeare' 'The Tempest' - Penguin Shakespeare, published 2007

Romeo And Juliet Discuss To What Extent Act One Scene Five Of William Shakespeare's Play Romeo And Juliet, Is Crucial To The Play.

1762 words - 7 pages as 'Julius Caesar', which is based on Roman history, this play is considered to be the one that he is most known for. Even though we have little actual facts about Shakespeare he is still considered to be the worlds greatest dramatist.Shakespeare was a brilliant businessman as well as a playwright. He made sure his plays were what he thought the Elizabethan Audience would enjoy. By doing this he made a considerable amount of money, he would not

An Essay About Transformation By Theatre In Shakespeare's "The Tempest". Transformation Of Prospero, Of The Audience And Of Shakespeare Himself

972 words - 4 pages that the play has the effect of a catharsis. The audience is purified, the belief in good is re-established, and forgiveness and devotion praised.3. Shakespeare transformed by theatreBy many critics "The Tempest" is regarded as Shakespeare's last intended play. And in the character of Prospero they think to find many allegories to Shakespeare's own career and life in the theatre. Both act as directors in their plays, both have an unusual power at