The Power Of Language Is The Most Dominant Means Of Control In The Tempest

Topics: The Tempest, John Gielgud, Sycorax Pages: 3 (1134 words) Published: January 22, 2015
“The Power of Language is the Most Dominant Means of Control in ‘The Tempest.’ Discuss this.

Control is a very key theme in ‘The Tempest’ and is used by all the characters to portray their status in the play; one of the ways control is used is through the use of language which is the most dominant means of control in ‘The Tempest.’ The audience see how language used by Antonio and Prospero has a direct affect on not only the audience but the other characters as they are manipulated by these words to do whatever the characters want.

The power of language is used by Antonio to manipulate Sebastian to kill the king. Antonio uses epithets such as ‘noble Sebastian’ which makes him seem that he is doing the right thing by overthrowing Alonso. In addition, ‘Worthy Sebastian’ is used which has a double meaning, it means that he is worthy enough to become king and be better than Alonso; however, it can also mean that he is valuable to Antonio right now. What this does is makes Sebastian realise that if he is getting epithets such as ‘worthy’ when he isn’t a king then imagine all the compliments he would get if he was to become king. Furthermore, Antonio uses imagery when saying “My strong imagination sees a crown dropping upon thy head.” This makes Sebastian feel as is the crown is rightfully his, if the Duke of Milan can see the crown on Sebastian then that is reinforcement for it to happen. This is because if someone who is as high up as Antonio is giving him the go ahead to do the deed and kill the king then he would do is as he thinks it’s the right thing to do. Also, the verb ‘dropping’ suggests that it was sent from above e.g. God and at a time when religion was at the top of the hierarchy it would make Sebastian feel as if God has chosen him to become king and who is he to defy God. As Sebastian is having doubts as to whether to commit regicide Antonio uses god as a persuasive technique for him to make him kill the king, it’s as if Antonio wants Sebastian...
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