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AS and A Level: The Tempest
134 AS and A Level The Tempest essays
- Marked by Teachers essays 3
This essay starts well and makes several interesting observations in the argument that follows. The main problem is structural - this could have been a briefer and more focused essay…
- Essay length: 2518 words
- Submitted: 23/04/2009
- Marked by teacher: Roz Shipway 07/02/2012
How does Shakespeare ensure that the theme of usurpation and its consequences runs throughout The Tempest?3 star(s)
There are some good points made in this essay and it is an interesting topic to explore. The theme is a good thread to follow through 'The Tempest' but the…
- Essay length: 2261 words
- Submitted: 29/01/2005
- Marked by teacher: Laura Gater 22/12/1999
This essay shows textual knowledge and understanding and is, for the most part, focused on the essay question. However, it would benefit from a tighter structure as it becomes repetitive…
- Essay length: 1529 words
- Submitted: 20/10/2004
- Marked by teacher: Roz Shipway 02/07/2012
In this essay, I will be comparing the soliloquies and asides placed in the adaptation of William Shakespeares The Tempest by Julie Taymor in 2008-10.
- Essay length: 1081 words
- Submitted: 05/05/2012
- Essay length: 1555 words
- Submitted: 23/04/2012
- Essay length: 795 words
- Submitted: 25/04/2011
- Essay length: 897 words
- Submitted: 09/09/2010
- Essay length: 1160 words
- Submitted: 13/04/2010
- Essay length: 2300 words
- Submitted: 29/04/2009
The Significance of Colonialism in William Shakespeare's The Tempest (1610/11), Thomas More's Utopia (1516) and John Smith's A Map of Virginia (1612).
- Essay length: 3754 words
- Submitted: 09/03/2009
Structuring your essay
- 1 Include any relevant contextual detail – Shakespeare’s other plays (particularly the last plays – The Winter’s Tale; Pericles; Cymbeline) may be relevant.
- 2 Remember to include possible alternative readings.
- 3 What textual evidence (quotations and references) can you use to prove your point?
- 4 How does your evidence prove your point? (Analyse the quotes using literary terminology)
- 5 Having argued the case, it is usually possible to include a more personal response in your conclusion.
Five things you need to know about 'The Tempest'
- 1 The setting is a deserted island which provides a location where conventional social ways and hierarchies can be put aside. Gonzalo’s speech that sees the island as a potential Utopia is undermined by the mocking presence of these two evil lords.
- 2 The play explores questions of leadership. The first scene presents a ship in a tempest where the Boatswain challenges the authority of the earthly lords.
- 3 The Tempest is Shakespeare’s last complete play and is unusual in that Shakespeare seems to have devised the plot himself although he has included many elements that would fit the genre of Romance literature.
- 4 The play debates two main kinds of magic. Prospero’s Art is associated with learning. The magic of Sycorax is contrasted with this – her magic is an example of ‘goety’, magic for evil purposes.
- 5 The play is one of the group known as the ‘last plays’. These four plays share similar concerns – conflict resolved through the younger generation; magical elements; elements of ‘old’ stories or fairy tales; tragi-comic elements and so on.
Key characters in The Tempest
- 1 Ferdinand and Miranda provide the possibility of reconciliation through their marriage which is a love match but also a political union.
- 2 Prospero controls the action of the play through his Art. He is the usurped Duke of Milan who seizes the opportunity to shipwreck his enemies (Antonio and Alonso) on the island where he himself was shipwrecked twelve years previously.
- 3 Caliban (whose name is a near anagram of ‘cannibal’) is often portrayed as a mere savage. However, he tends to speak in verse and has some of the most poetic lines of the play.
- 4 Ariel is the spirit who performs Prospero’s ‘magic’ as a result of being released from the pine tree in which Sycorax had imprisoned him. Ariel desires his freedom and can be compared and contrasted with Caliban.
- 5 • Prospero is often likened to a director of a play – the illusions that he creates through his Art such as the storm, the banquet and the Masque are witnessed as spectacle. Some critics argue that, in the figure of Prospero, Shakespeare himself is bidding farewell to the theatre.
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