Shakespeare Blog Post 4: The Tempest

Shakespeare – The Tempest (1611)

Blog post due – Presentation day: Thursday, May 23

  • Group 5: ?
  • Group 6: Is Caliban actually the worst character in the play? Isn’t he just following his animal instincts?

Write a post here of two paragraphs (about 200 words) discussing the play. Choose one topic, or make your post a reply to someone else’s post. For the presentations, choose one topic per group. Your presentation must present an opinion or argument; it cannot just summarize the story. E-mail or speak to me before your presentation to have it approved.

  1. In some ways Prospero acts like a tyrant, ordering Ariel and Caliban and tormenting everyone for his own revenge. Even if no one is hurt, is he a good man?
  2. Does Miranda stay the same throughout the play, or does she change? How? Are there places where she stands up to her father?
  3. The play seems different, somehow, from Shakespeare’s earlier plays– or at least the ones we have studied. Do you agree? How is it different?
  4. Gonzalo makes an interesting point in saying that if he were king of the island, he would make a perfect society with no money or social rank. Why do you think he says this? Is this a good idea?
  5. Is Caliban pure evil, or are others, such as Prospero, partly to blame for his nature? Is it fair that Stefano and Trinculo get him drunk when he has never seen alcohol before?
  6. One criticism of the play is that Ferdinand’s courtship of Miranda is “too easy” and lacks tension or drama. Is this true?
  7. Why aren’t Antonio and Sebastian ever punished, whereas Stefano and Trinculo are humiliated? Is this fair? What does it say about Prospero?
  8. There has never been a well-known movie version of The Tempest, unlike Shakespeare’s other plays. Do you think there is a reason why?
  9. Why does Prospero announce that he will give up his magic powers at the end? Is this a good idea when Antonio and Sebastian are still bad people?
  10. Are there other themes or ideas in the play you think are interesting?

6 thoughts on “Shakespeare Blog Post 4: The Tempest

  1. Bae Sung Wook

    I read “Midsummer Night’s Dream” in last semester. MSND was a fantasy novel with the presence of elves. I saw something similar to MSND while reading “The Tempest” this semester. There are three clues. The first is that both MSND and “The Tempest” are peaceful novels that no one dies. Of course, both stories have some tension and hatred and revenge exist, but neither one dies. Second thing is There is a mysterious presence in the story. In MSND, Oberon plays that role. And In “The Tempest”, Prospero plays that role. And there is a fairy servant who helps his master. In MSND, It is Puck. And In “The Tempest”, it is Ariel. Both Puck and Ariel are elves, so they get rid of the mystery of what they do. The last is that the story ends in a happy ending. In MSND, two couples of men and women were paired after conflicts and misunderstandings, and Oberon will also reconcile with Titania. And In “The Tempest”, Ferdinand and Miranda fell in in love and Prospero forgave his enemies. Because of these points, I felt that MSND and Tempest were somewhat similar.

    Reply
  2. Kim Jae Hyun

    Question 9. Why does Prospero announce that he will give up his magic powers at the end? Is this a good idea when Antonio and Sebastian are still bad people?

    How would a person react if he experienced some power that he could not resist? Probably the most is to give up to fight. I think Because Prospero kept this fact in mind, so he gave up his magical power at the end of the play. Prospero makes a dangerous decision because there are still some bad people like Antonio and Sebastian. Also Prospero has no magical power anymore. But I don’t think these bad characters will fight back, as long as they had just witnessed the strong magical power of Prospero. This is the first reason why Prospero was gave up his powers. Second, I think maybe Prospero felt sorry for the spirits in the island, including Ariels. Because he used these spirits for his own purposes until his plan was completed. From the spirits position, Prospero was unwelcoming exist who entered the island suddenly and exploited them using magic. This is the second reason. Also I think it’s a good idea that Prospero gave up his magical power. It can be a chance to him liquidate the past and return to the normal life with his daughter.

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  3. Dong Jun, Jang

    1. Is Caliban pure evil, or are others, such as Prospero, partly to blame for his nature? Is it fair that Stefano and Trinculo get him drunk when he has never seen alcohol before?
    In my opinion, whether Caliban is evil or not can not be judged by human perspectives. Also, the other characters have no qualifications to blame the nature of Caliban. This is because humans have its own egoistic criteria.
    Ethical problems are judged with some criteria which made by its social group. So, many countries, or societies’ ethical criteria might be varied in many ways for a lot of reasons such as religion, political bias, and so on. In this play, Caliban was born as different from human beings. Although he tried to rape Miranda, we cannot judge his natural existence objectively. Because we don’t know whether his raping act is infant or acquired. There are no any facts that ugly monster has characteristics to rape.
    To regulate its natural specific just with some act is dangerous. It can go bad such as witch-hunt. There’s no any right for human to blame Caliban with some regulating vocabulary.

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  4. Yoo Jieun

    1. Why does Prospero announce that he will give up his magic powers at the end? Is this a good idea when Antonio and Sebastian are still bad people?
    A. Prospero needed magic not only to survive but also to get even. So, magic is a symbol of power and anger. Prospero does not need to give up magic but he does to show how much he is serious about wanting peace. That is how much he feels happy about his current situation and believes that his furry is not worth blocking the happiness for his daughter and himself.
    There is a possibility of Antonio or Sebastian getting some sort of pay back. But with a mind like Prospero, he would know the numbers. Still chooses to forgive them and give up magic means that by forgetting what they have done, Prospero is believing in the good side of them. And is a hope that ever one can become a better person by being forgiven. Prospero’s actions is showing true trust to people, which is a wise move.

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  5. Alina Kim

    Q. In some ways Prospero acts like a tyrant, ordering Ariel and Caliban and tormenting everyone for his own revenge. Even if no one is hurt, is he a good man?

    I think that Prospero is a good man. Although he refuses to free Ariel and enslaves Caliban, Prospero is really a beneficent ruler, never intending to injure even his enemies. Prospero’s magic is the white magic of nature, not the black magic of evil men. He wants his enemies to remorse rather than revenge them. He creates the tempest at the beginning of the play, but eventually he didn’t hurt anyone. Another example of Prospero’s goodness is when he stops Alonso from apologizing to Miranda, telling him that there is no need for more amends. Prospero is forgiving to those who tried to hurt him. He forgives his brother who stole his throne.

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  6. Bae Byung Hyuk

    Q10: Are there other themes or ideas in the play you think are interesting?

    I want to explain what made this play very well. I think three of them. Music, Magic, Greek myth is what I want to research more and more.

    Firstly, when this play was written, Magic was taboo in England during Shakespeare’s era because it has a refutation. That’s why he had to be careful while he was writing this play and he had to revise pages which included any magic.

    Secondly, this play was great so many musicians used the topic of this play when they composed their own music. Both Beethoven and Tchaikovsky titled their music as a tempest.

    Finally, this play has a rare characters who have shown in the Greek myth as well. One of souls in this play sometimes transformed such as harpy, nymph, and even Ceres. A harpy is a monster with women’s head and bird’s body. It has a bad smell and disturb person’s meal. A nymph is a tiny female fairies. Ceres is a goddess of grain who has a daughter whose name is Persephone.

    In conclusion, I cannot help admiring this play because it was a great and fantastic play.

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