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One of Shakespeare's lighter plays, The Tempest is a story about love, revenge, and greed. Set on a mythical island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Prospero comes up with a plan to avenge a disservice that has been done to him, reclaim the title his brother stole, and in the process help his beautiful daughter find true love. Through the use of magic and spirit servants, he also uncovers plots to kill the king and himself.
Unlike some other of Shakespeare's romantic comedies, the Tempest is less focused on the love story, and more on the plots of murder, and Prospero's plot to avenge himself. Prospero himself is the most powerful character in the play in that he controls everyone to some degree. He seems to know exactly what and when something is going to happen which makes his task simple.
Prospero's revenge is simple, and not intended to hurt any of the characters involved in it. He merely wants to show them what he had to go through when he was first stranded on the magical island. He also wants to make the characters feel guilty for their plot against him, so that when he does show himself, he will be more likely to be welcomed with open arms. Other than Prospero's revenge, Caliban also tries to plan his own. His revenge for being a servant is, at first, trying to take Miranda. After that, when he enlists the help of the drunkards, is to win the island for himself and kill Prospero.
Greed, however, is the most powerful motive in the play. Antonio and Sebastian are shown to be the greediest characters because they are willing to kill their own brothers to inherit the power they seek. Caliban, as well, seeks to rule the island, and uses that as another incentive to attempt to kill Prospero. His cohorts, taken with the thought of being leaders and not servants, go along with him and are willing to commit heinous crimes for it. The only two characters in the play who are not greedy are the ones who fall in love. Since love is often associated with innocence, this is not surprising. Even Prospero, though often thought of as a righteous character, creates the plot in order to gain things for himself. Ariel too, helps Prospero in hopes of buying his freedom from his servitude.
The tempest was one of Shakespeare's last plays and even though it has a different style and themes than some of his other plays, it still remains a great classic today.
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The Tempest is a play with many themes and motifs which guide the story of the play through out. One of the main and most important themes in the entire play would be the theme of Revenge. The concept of revenge is the main object fuelling the story and the reason behind Prospero’s strange actions. Act 2 of the play; introduces all the characters and presents an insight to each characters’ psyche. This act is really important because it really introduces and sets up the storyline of the whole play.
After each of the character has been introduced in this act the audience is then able to distinguish the important elements of the story. The audience can begin to realize why Prospero has created the storm, why only these people have been caught in the storm and not the rest of the fleet? The base of the story has been set up and the most important theme in the play (Revenge) is beginning to be revealed. Revenge as a theme is in attendance during the whole play, but it is this Act where the theme is the most powerful and noticeable.
The act starts out with Adrian discussing the importance of the island and how it can be a wonderful place if people view it that way. Prospero has started to set up his game of revenge with great planning. Every action committed by Prospero is deeply influenced by his desire of revenge. The Tempest itself was conjured by Prospero to bring the people on that ship to his island so he could teach them a lesson. Prospero is a great man because even though he is taking his revenge he makes sure he does not hurt anyone. He does not make use of any hurtful means to get his revenge.
The revenge itself is purely based on the ideology of correcting a mistake for Prospero. Frankly Prospero is trying not to get his revenge in the sense of hurting anyone but he is trying to get them to learn a lesson and giving them a chance to realize what they did was wrong. The way Prospero sets up stages for each group of people on the island separately. Antonio and Sebastian show their brutality when they try to kill the king but this whole scheme was planned by Prospero beforehand and it didn’t go exactly as planned and Antonio tried to kill Gonzalo as well.
Prospero always admired Gonzalo for his nature and this is why he decided to save his life. Prospero had a minor change of heart during the play, it is believable that he was more likely to have had tormented Alonso, Antonio etc. but he decided not to be so brutal and gave them a chance. Although his actions were driven by the craving for revenge but he realized that tormenting them wouldn’t change them. Prospero wanted his life back and wanted his daughter to have a good life. Prospero’s revenge was the right thing to do and it shows his character and personality.
It shows how he isn’t a bad person and just wants the people that did this to him to learn a lesson and realize how cruel they have been. Prospero is an extremely smart person and Revenge isn’t the only thing that influences his actions. He also relies on other factors that he wants to correct like his family and his situation at the moment. Prospero is able to get his daughter and the kings’ son Ferdinand to fall in love so that their future can be fixed. Basically, what Prospero does in this act is to make the first steps into getting his life back to normal.
He wants to get his dukedom back and get his daughter what he thinks she deserves. Bibliography:1. “NovelGuide: The Tempest: Theme Analysis. ” Novelguide: Free Study Guides, Free Book Summaries, Free Book Notes, & More. Web. 09 Jan. 2007. . 2. “Revenge play: Encyclopedia II – Revenge play – Origins conventions and themes. ” Enlightenment – The Experience Festival. Web. 10 Jan. 2007. . 3. “SparkNotes: The Tempest: Act III, scene iii. ” SparkNotes: Today’s Most Popular Study Guides. Web. 10 Jan. 2007. .
Author: Brandon Johnson
The Tempest The Theme of Revenge
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