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

Explore the dramatic impact of the tempest scene in Act 1, Scene 1 in The Tempest.

Extracts from this document...


Explore the dramatic impact of the tempest scene in Act 1, Scene 1 in The Tempest. You should consider the development of the character thorough action and dialogue; the use of stage space and other stage effects; and finally the likely effects upon a Jacobean audience and a modern one. The Tempest was written in 1606-1611 and can be described as a 'late play' or a 'tragicomedy'. It is a play that looks at human emotions and characters that are put under pressure. The first scene is one, I think, of importance since it introduces the courtiers and show us their true characters. It is also exciting, which means that the audience will be interested from the moment the play starts. The Tempest was possibly one of the last plays Shakespeare wrote. By this time Shakespeare would have been famous throughout England and so there would have been much expectation surrounding the play. Therefore it was necessary that the first scene be one of great impact. In order to create a scene of dramatic effect that will make people interested in the play there must be a powerful image such as a storm, a tempest. However with limited resources Shakespeare had to make the scene authentic through the actors. The illusion of the ship can be made by the actors' tone of voices, actions and movements. For example the dialogue in the first scene is mostly one of commotion and shouting such as "all lost! To prayers, to prayers, all lost!" "We split, we split!" "Farewell, my wife and children!" "Farewell brother!" "We split, we split, we split!" Lots of imperatives are used such as "Take in the topsail!" ...read more.


If you cannot, give thanks that you have lived so long, and make yourself ready in your cabin for the mischance of the hour, if so hap..." Alonso tries to maintain an air of authority by trying to give the boatswain imposing advice such as "Good boatswain, have care. Where's the master? Play the men." This scene carries a lot of symbolism and themes that are carried on through the rest of the play, for example the inversion of the social hierarchy as the boatswain says about the king. This is the first power struggle of the play. The boatswain makes the point that although the king has divine right, he has absolutely no power over nature, and therefore he is futile in a circumstance like this. We also see that nature or situations like the storm should and could only be resolved by those who are able to. In turn Prospero manipulates the situation, almost with a divine control, he is the only one who can put an end to the story. This is a reflection of Prospero's control over the royal party. Although they think that they have eradicated him, and are in control, like nature, Prospero has in fact got a firm grip on their lives. We can also see how helpless humans are in the face of nature. Although we like to think that we have control over it we are in fact at its mercy and in a very vulnerable position. This theme of usurpation carries on throughout the play as we see Antonio and Sebastian's attempted regicide and fratricide of Alonso and Caliban, Trinculo and Stephano's parody of an assassination Prospero. In comparison to other storms in Shakespeare's plays I think that The Tempest has the most dramatic impact. ...read more.


I think that this was very ineffective because it lacked the dramatic impact that the first scene would have had if it were included and there was no show of the power struggles, no introduction to characters. The second production I have seen of The Tempest is by John Gorrie. Although the acting was very bad, the scene took place on a "proper" ship and incorporated the full scene. There were realistic sounds and special effects such as the rocking of the ship and rain. I also felt more of a sense that this was something very exciting and that hopefully the rest of the production would be too. I also saw an entirely different form of The Tempest in Peter Greenaway's adaptation, Prospero's Books. It starts off with an old man speaking of his books, what powers they possess, what they are called. Echoes can start to be heard of the dialogue from the storm sequence. We see the old man writing some of the dialogue as it is being said. Some footage of raindrops is inserted between shots. The setting of the scene suddenly changes to what looks like a Turkish bath with the old man bathing in it. We soon see a child swinging on a swing above. The dialogue of the storm sequence was still echoing around while the child (playing Ariel) continued to urinate on a toy ship in the middle of the bath, to represent Ariel's construction of the storm. The intention of this production may have been symbolic but I found it all rather confusing and much less dramatic than the BBC production, which had a lower quality of acting and probably not as much to spend in the way of the setting and special effects. Houmi Miura ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE The Tempest essays

  1. Prospero and Miranda's relationship in the Tempest is a strongly bonded one.

    did not mean to say her name, and she feels awful, now that she has gone against her father's demand. Because of Prospero's strict ideas and rules on sexual relations, she "dare not offer what I desire to give." This could be because she loves and respects her father to

  2. Power and Punishment In The Tempest

    He also makes fun of the way that Stephano tries to be in charge of the island, as he says "They say there's but five upon this isle. If the other two be brained like us, the state totters." What Trinculo is trying to say is that Stephano is trying so hard to be king over this island.

  1. How does Shakespeare present tension

    By this, Antonio is not referring to the clothes he is wearing but to his situation in life, here saying that he Is naturally suited to the role of Duke.

  2. " Ariel is a mischievous sprit, but is rather that one character that holds ...

    This will make the audience more surprised when they see how powerful she really is, which will, in effect, make her more of an intriguing character. The Hyphen (-) is of significance in the language of Shakespeare to. It is used more as a tool to conjure up vividly powerful images such as 'Sight-outrunning' ' hag-born' and 'Brine-Pits'.


    It seems he feels threatened by his loss of control and goes to patronise Boatswain, "Good Boatswain have care." There was no apparent need for Alonso to say this as Boatswain is in control however it seems that Alonso is merely desperate to assert his power.

  2. 'The Tempest' is centrally concerned with the themes of control and power. How are ...

    "Thou art inclined to sleep", here Prospero lulls his daughter and exhibits the earliest and mildest proof of his magical power in Act I Scene II. Sleep is a Shakespearean device which allows the audience to see the other individuals or groups of people talking in private, but in the context of the play, Prospero is using it as control.

  1. Show how Shakespeare has used conflict in The Tempest to explore ideas that are ...

    The suspense is built up through every dramatic event caused by Prospero making this play highly entertaining and suspenseful to how Prospero will get his final revenge. A play with plenty of conflict that builds up to the huge climax of the play makes The Tempest an extremely entertaining and attractive play to watch or read.

  2. To err is human, to forgive divine.Write a 600- 1000 word essay on this ...

    and, no doubt, marketable On this note, I believe that divinity exists within every human being. If we look deep and hard enough, we would be able to find this divinity within ourselves and if we take the initiative and make the effort to reach out to this, we would finally be able to make peace with ourselves.

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