Although a similar vision of justice is encompassed within King Lear and The Tempest, both protagonists receive fate strikingly dissimilar from one another; as a direct result of the relationship shared between their respective daughters, which ultimately distinguishes the plays from the similar concepts (compassion, nature, monarchy, and usurping) found within them. In King Lear, the nature of mercy and redemption are unobtainable elements, as the form of a Shakespearean tragedy is established on the foundation of chaos and pity, which arguably conceals the subtle (or blatant) relationship between both plays.
Both plays include a tempest; a violent thunderstorm that symbolize a life-changing moment for the introspective protagonists.
Prospered magic conjures the violent storm described in The Tempest, which destroys the boat of his royal enemies and prompts the pilot of the play. Unlike Prosper, Lear is a victim of the tempest described in his tragedy, but Shakespeare purposely uses this scene to ‘ cleanse’ the drenched king as he makes a revelation through an emotional soliloquy, thus humbugging him.
This concept of nature’s fury, although mutually significant in both respective plays, also discloses the dissimilarity shared between the two protagonists. Prosper, from the opening scene, was described as wise and empathetic, specifically using the storm to confront his enemies, not to cause harm. Prosper was already introduced to the audience as a humankind protagonist, while Shakespeare depicted Lear as ‘blind’ until his own tempest in the middle of the play. The significance of the tempest scenes symbolizes the genesis of repentance and retribution for both of the principal characters.
Although Prosper is successful in restoring his role as the rightful king in the plays climax, Learner’s kingdom is obliterated and results in his death. The notable nature behind the protagonist’s paternal role towards their daughter tryingly influences the events of the play, as both elderly kings are fathers to similarly angelic daughters. In King Lear, the audience is quickly clued in on Learner’s foolishness as a father, since Shakespeare manifests this notion through the old kings retirement celebration.
Learner’s two daughters, General and Reagan, are wicked women who manipulatively express their faux affection towards their narcissistic father. Ironically, Cornelia remains the only daughter of virtue who proclaims that the sincere affection she feels towards him transcends mere words. King Learner’s opening CT alone already corresponds with the introduction found within The Tempest’s introduction, except the scenario is presented in a reverse manner.
Lear was seeking an early retirement and attempted to distribute his kingdom between his three daughters, while Prosper was usurped of his dukedom by his treacherous younger brother, Antonio. Despite of the similarities presented in the opening act, Shakespeare also reveals the pivotal difference behind the plays father/daughter dynamic. Unlike Lear, Prosper is completely engrossed in Miranda and her well- being from the plays opening, even comparing her too cherub: MIRANDA Alack, what trouble Was I then to you! PROSPER O, a cherubim Thou waste that did preserve me.
Thou didst smile. Infused with a fortitude from heaven. (1. 2. 51-54) Shakespeare arguably uses Miranda for the sole purpose of symbolism, since her character’s actions are essentially irrelevant to the events in The Tempest, as she’s utilized more as an image of Prospered fatherly love rather than a character of great significance. Cornelia, whose nature is undeniably similar to Miranda, is portrayed as one the most compelling characters in King Lear, due to her role as the angelic daughter who substitutes Marinara’s naivety with awareness.
Shakespeare exchanges the protagonist’s role through their daughters in both King Lear and The Tempest; Lear exhibits Marinara’s naivety and Prosper reflects Cordillera’s compassion. Shakespeare distinguishes this concept from the onset of both plays and hints towards the protagonist’s fate through, once again, their daughters. Prosper established his endearment towards Miranda in the beginning of The Tempest and consistently demonstrated his loyalty towards her. Shakespeare rewards the unconditional love exhibited by the elderly king and compensates the former ruler with a favorable conclusion.
In King Lear, the protagonist is not bestowed with the same fortune, as Lear also hints towards his fate during the plays introduction. Lear does not refer to his celestial daughter a cherub, like Prosper did, and chooses to disown his daughter instead: LEAR: Let it be so. Thy truth then be thy dower. For by the sacred radiance of the sun, The mysteries of Hectare and the night, By all the operation of the orbs From whom we do exist and cease to be-? Here I disclaim all my paternal care, Propinquity, and property of blood, And as a stranger to my heart and me Hold thee from this for ever.
The barbarous Scythian, Or he that makes his generation messes To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom Be as well neighborhood, pitied, and relieved As thou my sometime daughter. (109-123) Truthfully, Lear only disowned his daughter through the sole notion that she didn’t love him (verbally), but the motive behind this harsh act does not exempt Lear from the grim fate Shakespeare had reserved. A Shakespearean tragedy is molded on the tragic figure’s hamster, as Learner’s foolishness’ was evidently his.
Betrayal of kin spreads like poison throughout King Learner’s conclusion: Gloucester, Lear, Reagan, and General all meet their grim fate because of the deception they inflicted on their families. Cornelia is substantially the most tragic character in King Lear (and arguably all of the tragedies) due to her innocent and compassionate persona, which rejects the bitterness imposed from being the victim of betrayal and attempts to restore her father’s usurped title.
However, the unspeakable act behind a father abandoning his saintly daughter strongly indicates why Shakespeare bestowed Prosper with magic and Lear with madness. Superficially, King Lear and The Tempest both provide many of the elements squired in a revenge plot. Both protagonists are conceptually banished after their royal power is renounced, regardless if the title was robbed from them or relinquished willingly, and desire to restore their former glory. The plays also describe similar scenes of madness experienced by Lear but inflicted by Prosper on secondary characters.
Although betrayal and the search for Justice are elements fundamental to the plays plot, neither story qualifies in taking the title of a revenge tragedy. In King Lear, the only character that arguably has a motive for revenge is Edmund for being mocked as an illegitimate child. Lear, the principal character, is responsible for triggering the events of the play by allowing the wicked sisters to rule his kingdom and disown Cornelia. In The Tempest, the magical harpy generated by Prospered magic doesn’t qualify as the Vengeful ghost’ most revenge tragedies would describe.
Prosper succeeds in his revenge by restoring his stolen title from Antonio, but expresses mercy and compassion towards his enemies, therefore voiding the play from any tragic genre. Predominantly, the themes illustrated in The Tempest and King Lear project the once for Justice, but the concept behind familial betrayal stem from the protagonist’s daughters and ultimately receive Judgment from Shakespeare. The component of evil is not entirely absent from The Tempest, as Clinical (the son of the Devil who attempted to rape young Miranda) is undeniably a wicked character.
Clinical echoes similarities to Lagos character in Othello, evoking the idea that the Devil mightier had more children scattered throughout the Shakespearean universe. While the Journey for restoration described in King Lear arguably parallels the plot thin The Tempest, the progress actually made by protagonists reveals that the psyche of both men are actually years apart. Prosper is already enjoying the relationship he shares with his daughter at the beginning of his play while Lear doesn’t make his revelation until half of the plays events elapse.
In fact, Lear is ironically more sane as a madman then he ever was as king. Shakespeare gives the notion that the power behind father-daughter relationship transcends any obstacle hurled towards the protagonist, as described by the victory Prosper achieved after Ewing exiled to a distant island, but the tragedy depicted in King Lear reminds the audience of the grim consequences one must face when turning their back on innocent family. The conclusion of both plays, Just like their introductions, are described in a reverse fashion.
Shakespeare temporarily forgave Lear through compassionate Cornelia, while Prosper exhibited his compassion by forgiving the other characters. Prosper learns compassion through Miranda, a concept that Shakespeare deliberately instilled in Lear when it was too late . If Shakespeare had altered the conclusion in King Lear to an ending where Lear survived the chaos, then t would be plausible to assume his character would exhibit the same characteristics of Prosper; two elderly rulers who where once usurped by malicious family and learned the value of compassion through their righteous daughters.
Of course, this theoretical concept of King Lear concluding in peace would null the play from its tragic form, and reclassify the drama as a comedy Just like it’s companion play, The Tempest. Moreover, The elements of a tragedy illustrated in The Tempest are not as blatant as those described in King Lear, if anything, the hamster Lear suffers from is substituted by Prospered wisdom. The element of hope, however, is a strong tragic component that pulsates throughout the veins of both plays. The audience evidently sympathizes with both protagonists, as both elderly men have been “more sinned against than sinning. (3. 2. 1372), but Shakespeare ultimately scrutinizes the elderly men through their behavior as fathers-of-celestial women and Judges their fate by either condemning the protagonist to an agonizing death or rewarding him with the honor of restored monarchy and freedom. *Addendum: If given the fortunate opportunity to celebrate my 65th birthday, Judging by how I fleet on life the past 24 years, I can certainly see myself remembering Shakespearean work as the key to understanding hamster and the very-real danger it can demonstrate.
Aristotle coined the term hamster, but it wasn’t until I read Shakespearean Hamlet that I realized the consequences of your internal-flaws. Similar to Hamlet, I used to have an indecisive personality, (which hasn’t completely faded from my subconscious), and I frequently would think-before acting and find faux justifications in delaying my goals: applying for scholarships, working harder in grade school, daily exercise, healthy dieting, and managing finances.
Although I didn’t interact with the ghost of my father nor seek revenge against my treacherous uncle, I lost dozens of life-enriching opportunities due to being indecisive and it haunts me frequently. I can only assume, and hope, that the age of 65 will be a milestone for decades of utilizing a revamped proactive persona, as the tragedies will always remind me of the catastrophes that stem from personality flaws. After all, what better way can we pity a tragic figure than to express our own compassion towards their suffering?