Essay analysis of the tempest by shakespeare

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  1. An Analysis of Shakespeare's The Tempest Essay
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  3. A Critical Analysis of The Tempest by Shakespeare | Artxy
  4. Caliban warns Stefano that he must possess what before killing Prospero?
  5. Analysis of "The Tempest" (Literature Essay Sample)

Others say that Caliban is merely a product of his birth and that it is not his fault who his parents were.

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Many also view Prospero's mistreatment of Caliban by making him a slave as evil and that Caliban cannot be anything other than what he is. Ariel: Ariel, who inhabited the island long before anyone else, is a sexually ambiguous character, neither male nor female.

An Analysis of Shakespeare's The Tempest Essay

Prospero freed Arial, and Ariel remained faithful to Prospero the entire time the protagonist inhabited the island. Ariel is at the core a very kind, empathetic creature, sometimes viewed as being angelic. Ariel cares for humans and helps Prospero see the light and forgive his kinsman even Caliban. Without Ariel, Prospero would likely have remained a bitter, angry little man on his island forever.

The tripartite soul: One of the major themes from this play is the belief in the soul as three parts and that Prospero, Caliban, and Ariel are all a part of one person Prospero.


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Plato called this the "tripartite of the soul," and it was a very commonly held belief in the Renaissance. The three factions of the soul were vegetative Caliban , sensitive Ariel , and rational Ariel and Prospero. Sigmund Freud later adopted this concept into his id, ego, and superego theory. By this theory, Caliban represents the "id" the child , Prospero the ego the adult , and Ariel the superego the parent.

Many plays after the s have the same actor playing all three roles, and it is only when all three characters can come to the same conclusion forgiveness that the three factions are brought together into one person. When this happens to Prospero—when the three parts of his soul unite—he can finally move on. The Tempest Complutense , a Madrid-based learning website, notes that "The Tempest" takes place in 17th century England—a time that was contemporary with Shakespeare's writing of the play—when colonialism was a dominant and accepted practice, particularly among European nations.

The website notes:. The belief of superiority was the normal state of mind in the European nations. Around this time, the English were trying to establish their dominance in different regions of America, which were slowly coming under the rule of the British Empire.

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As with all of his plays, Shakespeare's "The Tempest" contains plenty of pithy, striking, and moving quotes. Share Flipboard Email.

Lee Jamieson has a M. He lectured for six years on theater studies at Stratford-upon-Avon College in the U.

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A Critical Analysis of The Tempest by Shakespeare | Artxy

Updated August 13, Caliban: Man or Monster? Love at First Sight. Continue Reading. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our.


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Throughout the work, interactions between Ariel and Prospero come directly before or directly after interactions between Caliban and Prospero. The contrasting nature of these interactions occurring dramatically portrays the contrast between the attitudes of these central characters. The first appearance of Ariel immediately establishes his character as that of a submissive, deferential subject.

His language is that of a slave who binds himself to his master without question:. Whereas Ariel greets Prospero with an affirmation of his greatness, Caliban greets him with a curse:. Ariel is portrayed as a submissive servant, while Caliban is characterized as rebellious and spiteful.


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  7. Caliban's first speech emphasizes the conflict that arises from his lack of gratitude towards his master. Prospero, having drawn Caliban away from his savagery and towards modernity, believes that Caliban owes him a debt of gratitude. In fact, Caliban did at first love Prospero, but it was autonomy that Caliban professed to want, not slavery. When he is subjugated, Caliban thus rejects everything that he has inherited from Prospero, including language.

    Caliban essentially feels betrayed, and this is evident in the tone that is used to address Prospero in his first speech:. Unlike Ariel, Caliban has no future promise of freedom that will justify an attitude of deference. His rebellious attitude is a reaction to his feeling that he is being unjustly used and subjugated. Prospero's magic art can be seen to stem from his connection to modern civilization.

    Caliban warns Stefano that he must possess what before killing Prospero?

    One can see how he utilizes his art, akin to modern technology, in order to suppress and subjugate. He is portrayed as a colonizer who exploits the innocence of his subjects to his own advantage. Prospero uses his power over Caliban in a malicious, vengeful manner. He influences Caliban by intimidating him with threats of bodily discomforts and annoyances. Caliban dramatically emphasizes the extent of this power when explaining why he does not simply run away:. Whereas Prospero uses his magic in order to subjugate Caliban, he uses it in order to free Ariel from the curse of Sycorax.

    The submissive attitude of Ariel in his relationship with Prospero stems from the debt that this engenders in him towards his master. Ariel is content to serve his master only to the extent to which it ensures his future release. In a sense, he is repaying the debt he owes to Prospero by willingly subjugating himself to him. Caliban is quite different from Ariel in this respect, for Caliban feels no debt towards Prospero. Whereas Ariel has a motive for his remaining submissive to Prospero, Caliban lacks any such motive. Lacking any feeling of debt in his relationship to Prospero, Caliban thus develops the rebellious and accusatory attitude that characterizes him through much of the work.

    One of the most significant differences in character that separates Ariel from Caliban is the way in which each uses language. Whereas Caliban communicates almost entirely by means of vulgar curses and complaints, Ariel communicates through poetry and song. It betrays a mind at ease with his environment, a mind in which creativity and wit have sufficient room to develop. Caliban, unlike Ariel, is not of the mind to produce anything remotely similar to poetry or song.

    Analysis of "The Tempest" (Literature Essay Sample)

    Caliban has entirely rejected language itself:. This is significant in that by rejecting language, Caliban is rejecting knowledge itself. This is not surprising, for Prospero has given Caliban the tools of communication and self-knowledge, but has failed to give him the freedom and self-responsibility with which it is necessary to enjoy them. This is language suitable to a sprite with little care, almost absurdly childish in its nursery rhyme character.

    Ariel's language here is pleasant and musical, clearly the product of a clever mind, yet it possesses none of the insight and import that is characteristic of similar characters in other Shakespeare works, such as The Fool in King Lear. It is not until the second half of The Tempest that one can accurately make any judgements on the characters of Ariel and Caliban.

    It is possible to view Caliban in the first half of the work as a slave who is rebelling against his oppressive master. Yet when Caliban encounters Stephano and Trinculo with their "celestial liquor," he willingly subjugates himself to them. Caliban does not ask them for his freedom, as would be expected. Rather, he begs them to be his master, even his god. Caliban thus shows himself to be incapable of autonomy. In his relationship to Stephano, Caliban is even more pathetic than in his relationship to Prospero, for he abandons his rebellious attitude for one of hero-worship and grovelling.

    By putting himself in willing slavery to Stephano, who is no more than a drunkard and a buffoon, Caliban shows himself to be truly in a pathetic state. The vicious curses that he had constantly sent to his old master Prospero are replaced by requests to lick the shoe of his new master. A drunk Caliban even attempts a poetic song for the first time, and makes a fool of himself by stumbling over his name:.