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How does The Tempest reflect the concequences for various characters of the isolation of the individual from society?

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MELANIE CHRISTIE 200403818 HOW DOES THE TEMPEST REFLECT THE CONSEQUENCES FOR VARIOUS CHARACTERS OF THE ISOLATION OF THE INDIVIDUAL FROM SOCIETY? GLENN DUE: 9 SEPTEMBER 2004 In William Shakespeare's play, The Tempest, characters such as Caliban, Prospero, Miranda and Ferdinand, experience varying degrees of consequences, due to their change in behaviour, while isolated from society. Although isolation from society affects the characters in different ways, some see it as being advantageous while others see it as being a curse. This essay will show how characters in The Tempest suffer consequences due to their isolation from society. Caliban is possibly the only character in The Tempest who is not originally affected by his isolation from society. Caliban is the only character that is native to the island and he was utterly alone on the island until Prospero and Miranda were banished to the very same island. It was when the latter arrived that Caliban was exposed to people for the first time in his life. Prospero and Miranda taught Caliban to read, speak, and how to behave in the same way as them (sparknotes.com). Miranda: Being capable of ill! I pitied thee, Took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each hour One thing or other. When thou didst not, savage, Know thine own meaning, but wouldst gabble like A thing most brutish, I endowed thy purposes With words that made them known. ...read more.


However, this shipwreck is planned, and no-one dies. On board is, Alonso, the King of Naples, his son, Ferdinand, and Prospero's brother, Antonio. Throughout the play, Prospero rules over everyone, even the King of Naples, although he does so via magic. In this way, he makes Alonso and others believe that he was wronged and he gets what he has yearned for, for the past twelve years - re-instatement as Duke of Milan. By being isolated from society, Prospero's consequence became the need to rule by magic and his obsession with the position as Duke of Milan (sparknotes.com). It became his only goal in life. Prospero escapes his isolation from society, due to the influence of his magic powers, and his manipulation, even the manipulation of his own daughter, Miranda. Miranda has been living on the island for the majority of her life, and therefore she does not know any other way of life, but that of the island. Miranda experiences quite a bad version of isolation, as the only two people that she is accustomed to are her father, and Caliban, who is not really human at all. Miranda does not even have an idea or concept of what society is, and this gives her the appearance of being extremely innocent and na�ve. Miranda also fall's victim to her own father's manipulation, when he uses some magic to cause lust or longing towards the King of Naples son, Ferdinand. ...read more.


He is completely spellbound with Miranda, and this would possibly not be the case if both of them were included into society. Ferdinand's reality is blurred with his desire for Miranda. Some other characters in the play such as Stephano and Trinculo, and Sebastian and Antonio, are affected by their isolation upon the island. Stephano and Trinculo are depicted in the play as being the drunkards (sparknotes.com), and in their drunken state they accept Caliban as one of them and together they plot against Prospero, in order to take over the island. In reality these two men are servants, and their isolation shows their desire to have power and authority, whereas they would not even consider plotting against people in reality. The situation is almost identical with Sebastian and Antonio, as they also attempt to plot against someone in power for their own greed. They plot against the King of Naples, Alonso, in order to satisfy their own greed and power. Whereas, in reality, they would never attempt a plot against the king. To conclude, the characters in The Tempest are all victims of their situation. None of them chose to be isolated from society, yet that became the situation they found themselves in. All the characters suffered one consequence or other due to their isolation from society and their own secret desires which only became evident when in an isolated situation. In isolation, a person's character changes, and this is due to how each of the characters handle the position they find themselves in. ...read more.

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