William Shakespeare's The Tempest: A Review

Topics: The Tempest, Colonialism, Play Pages: 4 (1655 words) Published: May 15, 2005
Through the years there has been much debate as to whether Shakespeare's The Tempest is an Allegory to European colonization and colonial life, or if it is his "farewell to the stage" with a complete overview of the stage and a compilation of all of his characters into a few, in which the playwright himself being presented as Prospero. Is The Tempest an allegory to European colonization, or is it Shakespeare, presenting his formal farewell to the stage?

Many believe that Shakespeare, personified his character into Prospero, because Prospero ultimately created the entire plot of the play with his magic, which he obtained shortly after being marooned on the island. Because The Tempest was one of only two of Shakespeare's works that were entirely original, one could see why this would be the easiest position to take; after all, Prospero basically writes the play himself, by creating a complicated plot to regain his dukedom from which he was usurped. He also controls every character in the play, some with loving relationships, some with just the opposite. "Watching" Prospero create and work through the play, is almost like watching the playwright write the play, from start to finish. His extremely manipulative control over all characters in the play, and his delicate and sometimes hard to understand strategy in "capturing" the king is symbolized in the end in which Miranda and Ferdinand are revealed playing chess. Because of this, his dukedom is surrendered back to him, for which matter he also surrenders his magic in order to fit in with the world which he is about to rejoin after twelve years. This play very much does show the magic and ability to create anything in the world of theatre, even a barren theatre like the Globe, before the wonders of technology could create special effects and realistic scenery. This is ironic because the vivid descriptions that the characters give of the island, whether good or bad, are not achievable through primitive scenery as...
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