The Tempest By Shakespeare

Shakespeare's The Tempest, is about a dissolving society and a new kind of social order that moves not out of the world, but from an ordinary to a renewed and ennobled vision of nature.

Shakespeare's The "Tempest," is about a dissolving society and a new kind of social order that moves not out of the world, but from an ordinary to a renewed and ennobled vision of nature. Prospero takes the society of Alonso's ship, immerses it in magic, and then sends it back to the world, restored as it was originally. Prospero has committed error, has suffered wrongs, and has struggled against them, even has some struggles, on the island and these conflicts move Prospero toward the realization of the renaissance ideal.

The "Tempest" is renaissance drama. The play emphasizes many renaissance ideas and philosophies of Shakespeare's Europe. There is a difference in duties for rulers and subjects, a zest for learning, and emphasis on practical living, and the debate about the free will of man. Prospero's failure as a duke is the type of error people who lived in the Renaissance would take notice of. He is not very competent as a ruler, and the philosophies of the time, especially Locke, emphasized the need for competent and wise rulers. He lacks any practical interest in the affairs of his people, something Locke would have condemned him for doing.

The class structure of the "Tempest" is similar to Renaissance society. The Monarch is the leader and no one disputes his rule. The Dukes and Duchies are below the Monarch. Then, there were the professional working class and merchants like lawyers, who were held in high esteem in the Renaissance, and finally, the working class who were at the lowest level of society.



Compare and contrast Caliban and Ariel

Prospero discovers to inhabitants on the island, Caliban and Ariel. They are both creatures of the spirit world and not human. Ariel is likened to a creature of the heavens, a creature of god. Prospero frees Ariel. Ariel represents freedom-loving, and bravery. He is a gentle spirit. In the Renaisance world God and heaven maintain order and justice on earth. Ariel acts only when commanded by Prospero. He is also an adept sailor and one with nature. Ariel is happy pleasing man, but also craves freedom.

Caliban is the offspring of the devil and a witch. He represents a creature of eart, not the heavens. While Ariel acts from reason and rationality, Caliban acts from instinct, like an animal. Prospero makes Caliban his slave, but Caliban is not pleased being a servant. Prospero attempts to teach Caliban the etiquette of the European man, but Caliban loves the freedom of nature and shuns the way of God.

The two represent the two states the philosophers Rousseau and Locke refer to in their treatises on government. Locke and Rousseau, who come to different conclusions, both discuss the State of Nature, and the State of Man. They say that man is truly free in the State of Nature. In the State of Nature--the state Caliban represents--man is free to do as he pleases like the animals. However, in order to rise above the animals, man must enter into a social contract with each other, this is when Man enters the State of Man. Ariel represents this state. Rousseau claims that by all men giving up their freedom willingly, they gain a free and just society. Locke claims man needs to exit the state of nature for protection against foreign enemies and to live in harmony. They both believe humans require other humans

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