The tempest

  • Created by: lisa04
  • Created on: 28-05-19 11:29

Key Themes- Nature vs Nurture

  • The fundamental questions between good and evil and questions abot whether people are born the way that they will turn out to be, or whether their upbringing leads to their personality later on in life. 
  • NATURE: people who are born evil with no amount of influence will remain evil, while those born noble will grow up to be good.
  • NURTURE: (upbringing) those born in bad conditions but are brought up to be good and noble comapred to those brought up noble but turn out to be bad due to education or upbringing. 
  • In the play, it is presented in a number of ways. Caliban tell us about the "sounds of sweet airs" then there is a comparison about what is natural and civilised. Miranda represents natural innocence adn naivety while Caliban is represented as something savage and 'untaural'.
  • Gonzalo: "All things in common nature should produce Without sweat or endeavour" Gonzalo argues for a more natural and peaceul society. This 'natural' society is not reflected in the behaviour of the other characters however. 
  • Prospero: "A devil, a born devil, on whose nature/Nurture can never stick" Prospero suggests that some creatures are evil due to nature. He thinks that nothing will be able to change how Caliban's nature. 
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Key Themes- Freedom

  • In the Tempest, there are lots of examples that relate to freedom and no freedom. 
  • First is the Tempest itself. There is no freedom for any of the characters on the boat.
  • Prospero and Miranda have been stuck on the island- no freedom
  • Ariel is released from the tree by Prospero and acts as his servant in return for his freedom
  • Caliban is another character that lacks freedom. He is threatened with punishments from Prospero. 
  • At the end of the play, Prospero's last words are "set me free" which relates to the freedom of all the characters.
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Key Themes- Magic, Art and Illusion

  • The Tempest is all about magic and illusions. 
  • Prospero is a magician and these powers are used within the play. 
  • At the beginning, the storm is created witht help of Prospero's magic and ends with it too. 
  • "set roaring war" Prospero isn't only talking about what has happened on stage but also what is happening on stage.
  • "graves at my command have waked their sleepers" Shakespeare is referring to the plays that he wrote before the Tempest.  On stage, Prospero isn't actually awakening the dead. 
  • "We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep" Prospero's magic gives him total control. He suggests that all of life is an illusion and that vanishes with death.
  • The play as a whole displays the art of magic and illusions through the use of harmonious language. The epilogue at the end is said by Prospero to ask the audience to release him from a spell, "but release me from my hands". In term of Shakespeare, he is asking the audience to applaud and honour the illusions he has created but realises he must go back to the real world, "let your indulgence set me free". 
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Relationships- Caliban w/ Trinculo and Stephano

  • When first meeting the duo, Caliban mistakens them for gods. He makes the same mistake that he did with Prospero. 
  • "I'll show thee the best springs. I'll pluck thee berries." Caliban tours Stephano and Trinculo around the island. 
  • "This is a very shallow monster! I afeard of him! A very weak monster!" The language and imagery used by Stephano and Trinculo suggests that they are trying to exploit Caliban. 
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The Masque

  • masque: traditional type of entertainment
  • In the Tempest, beautiful language is used to describe the masque. iris, the goddess of rainbow describes nature by what is produces, "thy rick leas of wheat, rye, barely...". This suggests that nature is perfect and beautiful but it is an illusion. Ceres symbolises what will come from the wedding, "and with each end of thy blue bow dost crown". This relates to iris and gives connotations of something peaceful. 
  • In iris' speech, she talk about "nymphs" dancing. These "nymphs" are actually farmers in the real world. This is seen as an illusion as farmers are hard workers. 
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Who is Miranda?

Miranda is the daughter of Prospero in The Tempest. She is also the only female character in the play. 

What does she do?

  • she shows empathy for those that were on the boat during the storm.
  • falls in love with Ferdinand
  • Change in character:

At the beginning of the play, Miranda displays sympathy for those that were on the boat. This contrasts with the language she uses against Caliban.

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Miranda- quotes (2)

  • "O, I have suffered with those that I saw suffer" Shakespeare respresents Miranda as an empathetic person as she shows sympathy towards the people that were on the ship, eve though she didn't experience it herself.
  • "I would have dunk the sea within the earth" Miranda stands up to her father and states her opinion about his power. This shhows that Miranda is quote brave by standing up to her father as a child this era wouldn't do this. 
  • "I pray you, sir" Miranda respects her father by using the name "sir", however, she seems to lose trust in him as he's not telling her the truth about the storm.
  • "It carries a brave form. But 'tis a spirt" Miranda uses the noun "spirit" and the adjective "brave". The phrase "brave form" suggests that Ferdinand is a good looking character and is attractive to Miranda. 
  • "A thing divine, for nnothing natural I ever so noble" Miranda approches Ferdinand as "divine"for a human. Both characters coem from different backgrounds and Miranda sees Ferdinand as "noble". The noun "noble" suggests that Ferdinand os of a higher status.
  • "This Is the third man that e'er I saw, the first That e'er I sigh'd for" Miranda is seen as naïve as she says, "that e'er I sigh'd for" which suggests that she has fallen for Ferdinand but she is seen as naïve as he is someone from the 'outside' and she doesn't know a lot about him. 
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Who is Prospero?

Prospero is one of the main characters in the play. He is the father to Miranda and rules over the island. 

What does he do?

  • He creates The Tempest
  • rules over the island and its inhabitants
  • Controls Caliban and Ariel

Changes in character:

  • At the beginning , he uses his powers to show that he is strong but he stops using them at the end.
  • He also tries to frighten the men that have betrayed him but forgives them at the end.
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Prospero- quotes (2)

  • "There's no harm done" Prospero asks Miranda to calm down after the storm. The phrase, "There's no harm done" indicates that Prospero fails to show empathy towards the situation.
  • "If I have too austerely punish'd you" Prospero uses quite harsh language when talking to Ferdinand, "I have austerely punish'd you". From this it shows that Prospero is trying to scare Ferdinand so that he looks after Mirnada properly. 
  • "If thou dost break her virgin-knot before" Prospero warns Ferdinand that if he will be cursed. this is because premarital sex was not widely accepted. He also uses it as a threat so that he looks after her. 
  • "Come, thou tortoise, when?/My quaint Ariel" Prospero sees Caliban as a savage animal and treats him badly, compared to Ariel who he treats better by describing him as "quaint". 
  • "tonight thou shalt have cramps/thou shalt be pinched/each pinch more stinging" After Caliban curses Miranda and Prospero, Prospero unleases threating consequences against Caliban which suggests tha he is angry. The language that he uses indicates that the pain is very violent.
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Who is Caliban?

Caliban is a 'savage and deformed slave'. He is also Prospero's slave and showed him the secrets of the island. He is the son of Sycorax, the previous owner of the island. 

Changes in character:

  • At the beginning, his langauge is bitter and harsh and filled with curses. During the play, his language becomes poetic when he talks about the island.
  • He changes as at the beginning before the storm, he has a good relationship with Prospero who taught him how to read and write. At the end, their relationship changes as Prospero treats him badly. 
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Caliban- quotes (2)

  • "All the infections that the sun sucks up" The language that Caliban uses is very harsh and powerful. He uses spitting sounds or sibilance which suggests that he is animal like. 
  • "Sounds and sweet airs/Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments" The language that Caliban contrasts his actual character. His language is different as he uses soft and gentle language compared to his harsh and spitting noises.
  • "I needs must curse" In this piece of speech, Caliban feels manipulated and curses. This suggests that Caliban is like an animal and this is his nature to curse. 
  • "Teach me how to name the bigger light, and how the less, that burn by day and night." Caliban's language contrasts his original language as here e uses eloquent vocabulary despite lacking this sort of speech.
  • "Do hiss me into madness" This speech uses hissing words which gives connotations of a snake which shows that Caliban is like an animal. It also implies that he could be suffering a lot due to Prospero. 
  • "Be not afeard, the isle is full of noises...when I waked, I cried to dream again" Caliban is very familiar with the island and what goes on within it. The use of assonance and sibilance softens his speech and differs it from his speech during parts of the play.
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Who is Ariel? 

Ariel is the 'airy spirit' of the island and is controlled by Prospero. He was trapped in a tree until he was saved by Prospero. He is a hard and obedient character who doesn't chnage a lot during the play. 

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Who is Ferdinand?

Ferdinand is the son of Alondo and is one of the characters on the boat. During the play, he falls in love with Miranda and plans to marry her. He is accused by Prospero of being a traitor. 

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Ariel- quotes (2)

  • "Before you can say 'come and 'go', And breathe twice and cry 'so,so'/Do you love me, master? no?" Ariel uses a rhyme in every line. It suggests that Ariel is very calm and it also relates to his fairy like persona. We can also see that he is an innocent character as he says to Prospero, "Do you love me, master? no?". He seems to be emotionally reacting. 
  • "Come unto these yellow sand, And then take hands" Beautiful and gentle language. Use of onomatopia thorughout which reflects his character.
  • "That's my noble master! What shall I do?" Ariel is obedient towards Prospero and treats him well.
  • "
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Ferdinand - quotes (2)

  • "Most sure, the goddess" Ferdinand uses courtly language when talking to Miranda by using the noun, "goddess", which suggests that Ferdinand think she's like a spirit and is harmonious. Both Ferdinand and Miranda use religious language to show that they respect eachother. Ferdinand uses this type of language anyways. 
  • "O, if a virgin, And your affection not gone forth" Ferdinand says that he'll make Miranda the queen of Naples. Shakespeare uses the phrase, "your affection not gone forth". This suggests that Miranda isn't in love with anybody else excpet for hhim. Ferdinand also says, "o, if a virgin" which suggests that if Miranda lost her virginity, she wouldn't be a good a wife. This is also a way to protect himself from Prospero cursing him. 
  • "Might I but through my prion once a day/Have I such a prison" Ferdinand is still trying to prove his love for Miranda. He talk about staying in prison which suggests he's a courtly character towards Miranda, however, he has been with many woman in the past which implies that he has a lot of experience with them meaning he could treat Miranda the same. 
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