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How does Shakespeare's representation of Airel and Caliban contribute to the dramatic spectacle, action and themes of the Tempest?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare's representation of Airel and Caliban contribute to the dramatic spectacle, action and themes of the Tempest? Shakespeare's play "The Tempest" is based around magic and enchantment, the whole play is a quest for the audience and characters to separate reality from illusion. However we are sometimes confused as what we perceive to be unreal and fictional turns out to be real and true. I am going to look into depth at two characters, Ariel and Caliban, to see how Shakespeare's representation of them helps to develop the plays themes and how they contribute to the overall dramatic spectacle of "The Tempest" Ariel essentially begins the play immediately contributing to the dramatic spectacle and themes of the play. He creates a magical storm to shipwreck King Alonso and his crew. This scene sets the mood and tone for the rest of the play that is one of mystery and the over throw of power. This switch in roles in the first scene has the boatswain in charge, and ordering his social superiors around. "Out of our way" and "Work you then" Ariel is described as an "airy spirit" and could behave so on stage. Airel could use graceful and smooth movements incorporating ballet and dance. ...read more.

Middle

"You 'mongst men being most unfit to live" This scene with Ariel as a harpy is a great contribution to the dramatic spectacle of the play, as this outburst of emotion emphasises the power of spirits and their authority over the island. This could be Shakespeare's way of commenting on the hold spirits and Gods have over society, and the rituals we go through to keep on good terms with them. One character who is mesmerised by the music of the island is Caliban. Caliban is an anagram of the word cannibal. This immediate gives us the impression of a bloodthirsty monster with no empathy for any other characters, just hatred. "All the infections that the sun sucks up from bogs, fens, flats on Prospero fall" Shakespeare's representation of Caliban is a hazy one, which makes him a difficult character to, sympathise with. Caliban can be represented in many different styles and genres onstage. Firstly he can be seen as a comic character as he speaks in prose, "Let me lick thy shoe". If a director focused on this side of Calibans character he could both condone and condemn racism and the persecution of people who are different. A director has a more freedom of expression with Caliban than he/she would have with other characters. ...read more.

Conclusion

that being Prospero. One of the most theatrical and entertaining scenes is the masque. It serves many Purposes. One is to entertain or distract Miranda and Ferdinand from making love before marriage. The masque is when we see Ariel express himself with the other spirits in the island. One major theme attached to all masques is disguise, this ties in with many characters in the play, such as Caliban who has an unwanted disguise. It also symbolises the calm after the storm (tempest) which suggests at this point the play is coming to an end, a happy one as Iris the goddess of the rainbow appears and we associate this with happiness. The Irony of the masque is that Ariel starts the masque with good intention to entertain and Caliban ends it with his evil plot to kill Prospero. Ariel and Caliban are two of the main characters in "The Tempest". They both contribute to the dramatic spectacle and themes of the play. They explore the prejudice and attitudes people can have and cleverly give us an insight into the two sides of Prospero. Caliban more than Ariel seems to embody both the spiritual side and mortal (imperfect) side of Prospero. Both characters strive for freedom and give the audience an insight to the ideals of our society. ...read more.

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