Relevance of the Tempest in the Modern World

Category: Greed, The Tempest
Last Updated: 08 May 2020
Pages: 4 Views: 263

The son and father of English literature, William Shakespeare wrote over forty plays in his life and through those creations has proved an always relevant, valuable author to millions of readers and scholars. It is evident through his works never- ceasing popularity and analysis of such that in their often ancient seeming context his use of core themes and language features, often hidden create links to the modern world of which we live, thus creating a footbridge of familiarity from his world to ours.

Four hundred years ago, Shakespeare wrote the Tempest, a dramatic fantasy still valued for it's language and relevance today as are all Shakespearian plays. Focusing on power through dictatorial characters and greed, the Tempest is shown to be continuously valued for it's timeless characterizations and use of naturally occurring themes of human nature. The character of Prosper demonstrates best the use of power through dictatorial characterization in the Tempest through the power he holds over his daughter, Ariel his servant and over the storm which brings his master plan into play.

From his first appearance, we understand that Prosper is in control of his daughter Miranda; 'Be collected: No more amazement: tell your piteous heart' is the first line we hear him speak, his response to his daughter whose 'piteous' thoughts for those many 'strangers' lost at sea have already confirmed that her character, through her concern and Shakespearean use of patronizing language in Prosperous treatment of her, was a stereotypical woman of the time, not necessarily stupid though ignorant enough to let her fathers plan subconsciously guide her to his thought-out life for ere.

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The use of anisotropy by Shakespeare has also been inserted to instate the educational advantage Prosper holds over Miranda, another form of power. This ultimate power over Miranda is shown once again when Ferdinand offers to make Miranda the Queen of Naples, and Prosper tells lies about suspecting him a spy from Naples and threatening to "manacle thy neck and feet together: sea water shall thou drink", simply so he can test Ferdinand love.

His use of statements as orders through direct language show Prosper already as the most powerful character in he Tempest, and later on in scene II this theory is only strengthened as we see the verbal interactions of Prosper with Ariel, his reluctant servant: '"If thou murmur's, I will render an oak, and peg thee in his knotty entrails, till thou hast howled away twelve winters. " This use of blatant intimidation through threat of physical harm shows the real power behind Prosper, as Ariel runs off to do his bidding momentarily we understand this was a true threat, that must have been proven before.

Prosper is a man with magical abilities, he brought the ship to be wrecked n act I to his island, bent on avenging his crown by his brother Antonio who did steal the title and banish his brother to the land years ago with intelligence, described by Prosper his methods; "A mark so bloody on the business, but With colors fairer painted their foul ends. " This assonance is used by Shakespeare to create rhythm in his text, while allowing Prosper to explain his brothers cunning in hiding his intentions with 'colors fairer'.

Through this theme of power we find that the Tempest has been valuable to the world since it's creation;dealing with dictatorial errors such as Prosper, his methods of intimidation and condescending behavior could easily be compared to many of the dictators of the 21st century such as Nicholas Tsar of Russia in the early asses, and whose meddling behaviors could be held in any parliament in the modern world. This theme shows Shakespearean understanding of human nature, a trait valuable in any author, allowing him to see indirectly the forces of humans, what we are capable of and what we will continue to do for centuries to come.

One of the deadly sins, greed has been a common theme in many works of literature nice the time of Shakespeare, in any context it is versatile and easily interpreted by humans, as we so often fall victim to it. In the Tempest greed is best exercised as a sin by Antonio, Prosperous brother and wrongful king. As supported by the text, Antonio is not only greedy though psychologically cunning as Prosper describes; "To credit his own lie, he did believe, He was indeed the duke " The use of end rhyme makes this sentence roll off the tongue while enforcing Prosperous belief that his brother was mentally devious.

Later in the play, we see Antonio poison Sebastian tit his greed, convincing him that in the sudden death of Alonso he will become King of Naples; "Here lies your brother, No better than the earth he lies upon,elf he were that which now he's like, that's dead; Whom l, with this obedient steel, three inches of it, Can lay to bed for ever; " In this bout of persuasive language, the personification used in 'obedient steel' shows Notation's comfort in dealing with such things; this evidence that he values his sword as an obedient friend allows us more information abut this character than meets the eye.

Later used in the Picture of Dorian Gray, the reason for too many wars and a theme found dipping in and out of most lives, greed will always be relevant as it is a characteristic of human nature, found in all of us. As both power and greed would be relevant anyway, the floral language used by Shakespeare to convey these themes is only one reason why we will continue to value his works; the use of techniques, characterization and human nature are merely the vessels upon which we will interpret his ideas as they continue to be read all over the world.

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Relevance of the Tempest in the Modern World. (2018, Sep 16). Retrieved from

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