• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What is the significance of sound and music in the play as a whole?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What is the significance of sound and music in the play as a whole? `The Tempest' is on a basic level a play about a magical island, complete with its own wizard, monster and handsome prince. However, it is much more than a fairytale. Complex themes such as usurpation, colonialism and the supernatural are interwoven into the plot to produce a play so diverse that it is widely considered to be one of Shakespeare's finest works. Music and sound are dramatically significant in this diversity. This makes `The Tempest' very different to other Shakespeare plays. For example, `The Tempest' -along with `Twelfth Night'- contains nearly three times the amount of music normally present in his plays. In this essay I will be exploring how this sheer amount of music and sound is significant. This will involve looking at the affect that they have upon the major themes, characters and the play as a whole. ...read more.

Middle

He uses music subliminally to create the mood and affect the activities of the characters. For example, in Act 1 Scene 2, Ariel lures Ferdinand to Miranda with the song, `Come unto these yellow sands.' In this same scene Ariel attempts to console Ferdinand (who thinks that his father has been killed by the shipwreck) with a soothing song: `Full fathom five thy father lies...' In Act 3 Scene 3, he torments Antonio, Sebastian and Alonso with a banquet. At the beginning of the scene he produces a banquet, accompanied by `solemn and strange music.' This affects the characters in a positive way, their language becomes much more harmonious and poetic e.g. `marvellous,' `sweet,' `heavens.' However, `Ariel ...claps his wings upon the table, and...the banquet vanishes.' Sounds of `thunder' can be heard at this point, contrasting with the `solemn' music at the beginning of the scene. Ariel has used music and sound in a way that inflicts strongly upon the emotions of the characters. ...read more.

Conclusion

Finally, the music and sounds have a subversive effect; it changes the behaviour of the characters. This also contributes towards the supernatural. Music and sounds have dramatic significance in the play. They are not just for decorative effect -although they do provide entertainment-, they serve a structural purpose. This is illustrated in the way that music is a continual cycle throughout the play. It is not just used in expected scenes, such as Act 3 Scene 3 with the banquet, it appears in the majority of scenes. The music helps to establish the emotional climate of a scene. In conclusion, music and sounds are a powerful instrument in this play. In addition to revealing the emotions of characters; supporting themes; and progressing the plot of the play, it also shows the multiplicity of Shakespeare. A number of critics believe that Shakespeare used such a high degree of sounds for the same reason that he adhered to the three classical unities (time, place and action). He believed that this was to be his last play so he wanted to conclude his writing career with evidence of his remarkable talent. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level The Tempest section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level The Tempest essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How does Shakespeare ensure that the theme of usurpation and its consequences runs throughout ...

    3 star(s)

    For example in both plots the person who would gain from the plot the most did not want be the person who would be in charge and seen as the usurper. Caliban would gain the most from his plot for he would gain the vengeance he had been longing for

  2. The Tempest- The Significance of the love story between Ferdinand and Miranda in the ...

    So Ferdinand insults Prospero in this way to elevate himself. As a Prince he is brought up as knowing that he is the "chosen" one from God making him more important than any ordinary person. This was a theory that was thought to be true during the Elizabethan times, as

  1. The Significance of the Island Setting - The Tempest and Robinson Crusoe.

    which he influences, governs and directs not only the means, but the events, of all things which concern us in this world" (Works, 3: 187).

  2. Shakespeares 'The Tempest' as a Study of Colonialism.

    the theatrical basis for political power, an issue that is currently very much alive in interpretations of Renaissance drama and politics. This approach would link The Tempest to other plays we have read in which an essential element in maintaining power is the development of politics as public theatre Seizing power and ruling (oppressing?)

  1. The Significance of Colonialism in William Shakespeare's The Tempest (1610/11), Thomas More's Utopia (1516) ...

    the two, as Caliban recounts: When thou cam'st first, / Thou strok'st me and made much of me ; wouldst give me / Water with berries in't, and teach me how / To name the bigger light and how the less...

  2. Compare and contrast the ways in which the writers of The Tempest and Translations ...

    I suppose you could call us a spiritual people." And again; "...it us a rich language, lieutenant, full of the mythologies of fantasy and hope and self-deception - a syntax opulent with tomorrows.

  1. The Tempest has been read by some as a Christian allegory. Examine how Shakespeare ...

    When all seems hopeless Shakespeare?s characters ultimately turn to religion: ?All lost! To prayers, to prayers!? This use of repetition demonstrates that they are aware of how humanity is powerless against God. And it is not just the mariners, for we are told, ?The King and Prince at prayers.? The wrath of God does not distinguish between social classes.

  2. The Tempest raises questions that were just beginning to be asked in Shakespeare's day ...

    However, the audience is also aware of the happenings over those (the royal court) who, in natural circumstances, would be the superiors. Shakespeare uses the lines of the Boatswain: ?When the sea is. Hence! What cares these roarers for the name of king?

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work