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Relevance of The Tempest in the Modern World

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  • Essay length: 1060 words
  • Submitted: 11/07/2002
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AS and A Level The Tempest

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Relevance of The Tempest in the Modern World The Tempest, a pastoral tragicomedy by William Shakespeare, was written in the Renaissance period, around 1611. When the play was written, the particular context that the author intended and that the audience received would be different to the meanings and ideas that we pick up from studying or viewing the play now, nearly 400 years later. For example, the way that women in particular are portrayed in old plays such as The Tempest is quite derogatory and would be unacceptable for a modern play. (Unless it was trying to recreate a historical location.) Various meanings in The Tempest demonstrate this difference in the distinct readings that you can find in the text today, and those meanings that we can try to simulate by looking at the text from a historical context.

One meaning that could have been picked up from the play, both in the seventeenth century and now, is that 'there are always lessons to be learnt about your true nature, and always ways to improve yourself.' This meaning is largely picked up from the central character of Prospero, the ruler of the magical island of The Tempest. Prospero, as

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