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Tempest - What do we learn about Antonio and Sebastian so far in the play?

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Introduction

Tempest essay By Claire Bourne L6P What do we learn about Antonio and Sebastian so far in the play? When we first meet Antonio and Sebastian in "The Tempest" the ship that they are all on, is sinking. Antonio shows loyalty towards Alonso, who is the King of Naples. This is a contrast to later on in the play: "ANTONIO: Let's all sink wi'th' King." We realise, when we meet Prospero that he was the rightful Duke of Milan, but that his power was usurped: PROSPERO: In my false brother Awakened an evil nature, and my trust, Like a good parent, did beget of him A falsehood in its contrary as great As my trust was, which indeed had no limit." In Prospero's speech, he uses words like "evil," "false" and even "falsehood" to explain his thoughts about Antonio, which in my opinion are true. When Antonio, Sebastian and Alonso have been washed up on an island, Alonso is grieving for the "loss" of his son, who he thinks has drowned during the struggle for survival. Instead of cheering Alonso up, Antonio and Sebastian play jokes on Alonso and even make bets against Alonso, which is mean. Even as this is when he needs his friends to support him, all Sebastian and Alonso can do is to make him feel worse: "SEBASTIAN: Which, of he or Adrian, for a good wager, first begins to crow." ...read more.

Middle

This again shows Sebastian as being a selfish character, and that he only thinks about himself, and what he wants. It is Antonio who puts the idea into Sebastian's head, to kill his won brother Alonso, who is the King of Naples: "ANTONIO: Say this were death That now hath seized him." This quotation shows Antonio as being a self-centred, horrible, and vengeful character. However, when Antonio is trying to persuade Sebastian, he doesn't say everything that is on his mind, and obscure and not very direct. Gradually, he becomes more open about the subject of murder. He appeals to Sebastian's sense of ambition, and in the end Antonio wins his way. Antonio even says that he won't feel guilty about murdering the king: SEBASTIAN: But for your conscience? ANTONIO: Ay, sir, where lies that?" This shows a lot about both of the characters. It shows that Antonio is a very heartless character, and that Sebastian is a naive character, and that he isn't using his brain to its full potential. Anyone could see that this was a stupid idea of Antonio's, but with the good persuasion from Antonio, the murder goes ahead: "SEBASTIAN: Thy case, dear friend, Shall become my precedent." How significant has magic been in the scenes we have read? ...read more.

Conclusion

Later on in the scene he decides to wake them up, just before Gonzalo, Antonio and Alonso are about to be killed by Antonio and Sebastian. Ariel does this so that Antonio and Sebastian are to be caught 'red handed' with swords in their hands: "ARIEL: Shake off slumber and beware. Awake, awake! " The word "beware used in this quotation, shows that he is trying to protect Gonzalo, Antonio and Alonso. We also see that the magic used in this play isn't so bad as might have been thought at the beginning of the play with the shipwreck. We realise that if magic wasn't a part of this play, Antonio and Sebastian would have killed half the characters! It is not just Prospero and Ariel who know that magic is being practising, but it is also the mortal characters. Just after Ariel has woken Gonzalo, Antonio and Alonso from sleep, Gonzalo thinks that it is magic that had woken them from their sleep: "GONZALO: I heard a humming, And a strange one too, which did awake me." We realise that Ariel wants the King to go "safely on to seek thy son." Magic keeps the characters alive in one aspect of this play, just like Ariel did to save Gonzalo, Antonio and Alonso. Magic is also significant in this play, as otherwise they would have been no shipwreck in the first place, because it was Ariel who caused this. ...read more.

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