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Discuss the use of imagery in the Tempest and relate the extract to the themes of the play.

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Discuss the use of imagery in the Tempest and relate the extract to the themes of the play. At the start of this extract in the play a vengeful Ariel enters, taking credit for the shipwreck, and makes the banquet, which the three members of the royal party (Alonso, Antonio and Sebastian) were mulling over vanish. Ariel's sudden appearance accompanied by the way in which he does appear, seems to frighten the men, who draw their swords at the appearance of the harpy like image of Ariel. "Ariel like a harpy enters with thunder and lightning and claps his wings upon the table" After Ariel finishes verbally attacking, and shaming the men, "you 'mongst men, being most unfit to live", "men like you would hang and drown their proper selves". Ariel's words become Prospero's and he speaks of his life and usurpation, over dramatising slightly to evoke a reaction out of the men, "Exposed onto the sea...him and his innocent child, for which foul deed licensed all the creatures, seas and shore against your peace" Alonso recognizes Ariel's words as being that of Prospero's, and the guilt of Alonso, Antonio, and Sebastian begins to take them over, at the thought of Prospero being alive, and so nearby. ...read more.


the three members of the royal party did not understand the true length to which they went to usurp Prospero from his position of power, and they didn't truly understand what they had done. By doing this he is showing he has forgiven them for doing their wrong in the beginning. This extract sets the tone for the rest of the play as it is the first time the royal party realise that Prospero is in charge of this Island and in charge almost of their lives, therefore giving him the ultimate power he has always wanted and the royal party are subject to him. Through Ariel he gives long planned speeches as if he has been waiting for the moment for a long time and to say all the correct things. He indicates that he is the power that passes judgement on the royal party and the fact that if they do-not ask him for forgiveness they will certainly suffer, "Ling'ring perdition- worse than any death", "upon your heads is nothing but hearts sorrow", whilst still giving them a choice, the choice which they never gave him. The metaphors of sleep and water are increasingly present in the play; "Ebbing men", "Thou dost snore distinctly", "I'll teach you how to flow", "As he that sleeps here swims". ...read more.


they would experience afterwards, he doesn't however mention this, as he is trying to persuade Sebastian into doing the deed for their own benefit. The main themes of the play are of magic, sleep and water. This play mentions all of these things in detail, the magic that Ariel uses to send the kingsmen to sleep, also the remaining image of the Tempest that Prospero concocted, through the visual representation of the thunder strike. The sleep motif that is present throughout the play is especially obvious in this passage as it is mentioned a lot, especially used as metaphors to cover up the real meaning of Sebastian and Antonio's words of treachery, "Thou let'st thy fortune sleep-die rather; wink'st whiles thou art waking". Water is also a strong motif throughout the play and in some cases describes the changes that the characters go through, how their flows change, "I'll teach you how to flow..Do so - to ebb". These main themes are specifically interwoven into the play by Shakespeare to create a sense of change and knowledge of circumstances so the reader better understands and can relate further to the storyline, this was especially important to the structure of the play when being performed on stage to keep people interested. ...read more.

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