The Tempest

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The Tempest - Magic Theme

  • Infuses the play with a sense of wonder and spectacle
  • Uses his magic to control the supernatural and the natural world, but not black magic like sycorax
  • Prospero's books in the play symbolize his power. Caliban even knows that without his books, Prospero is nothing
  • Prospero has taught his daughter from these books but in many ways she is ignorant as she has only ever known the people on the island
  • Magic is nothing in Milan and he must relinquish his magic in order to regain any sort of power or to enter back into society in Milan
  • His magic is responsible for his rise but also his downfall
  • Magical characters - Prospero, Ariel, Sycorax
  • Magic also about appearance - Caliban is not considered to be human
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The Tempest - Men Vs. Monsters Theme

  • Miranda and Prospero say very little to show that they see Caliban as human
  • Before Miranda taught him language he 'gabbled like a thing most brutish'
  • Calibans nature remains quite ambiguous
  • Prospero calls him 'Devil, born devil'
  • Can his 'devilish' nature ever be overcome with nurture?
  • Caliban was kind to Prospero until he imprisoned him. Prospero stopped being kind after Caliban threatened to **** Miranda
  • However Caliban has some of the most beautiful language in the whole play
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The Tempest - Ruling and Colonies

  • Prospero has found in isolation the perfect place to school his daughter
  • Caliban laments that he had been his own kind before Prospero got there
  • When Caliban suggests to Stephano to kill Prospero, Stephano envisions his own reign
  • Only person colonised is Caliban
  • However Prospero also takes over and takes control of the spirit Ariel
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The Tempest - Man/Natural World Theme

  • Is man more noble in natural state than in civilized?
  • Can man be at one with nature or will everything he touch turn 'unnatural?'
  • Can the island be considered untouched?
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