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

The Tempest - How does Shakespeare maintain dramatic interest in Act 1 Scene 2.

Extracts from this document...


How does Shakespeare maintain dramatic interest in Act 1 Scene 2? The relative calm of Act 1 Scene 2 provides a sharp contrast with disorderly melodrama of the previous scene. The second scene of act one recounts the story of how Prospero and Miranda came to be on the island, introduces Ariel and Caliban and shows Ferdinand come ashore and fall in love at first sight. The scene begins with Miranda expressing her alarm that her father has caused the 'wild waters' with his 'art'. Despite the immediately evident slower moving pace of the scene, created by the longer and more ordered speech of the characters, Shakespeare still creates dramatic interest with this line by altering the audience's perceptions of what has happened in the previous scene. The Tempest is a play where things seem to happen, yet often do not. The storm in the previous scene seems to be natural, yet Miranda's revelation it makes irony of the boatswain's line 'What care these roarers for the name of the king?', again transforming the audience's perceptions. The 'roarers' are merely the work of Prospero who knows well the king. ...read more.


Several other characters in the play also seek to assert to their claim upon the island (ie Caliban, 'This island's mine'), evoking the notion of colonialism and power over territory. Within Act 1, parallels can also be drawn by the audience between Antonio's theft of Prospero's kingdom and Prospero's theft of Caliban's island. The mirroring of the two events would help an audience to find continuity between Prospero's past and his present situation, maintaining a dramatic interest. Within the language of Prospero and Miranda there is also much to keep and audience occupied. To begin with Prospero talks in near riddles with a strangely repetitive speech 'There's no harm done...No harm I have done...but in care of thee, of thee my dear one thee my daughter'. Prospero's language as he recounts their story is, however, very different. The language is condensed in order to avoid an overlong recitation of events. Note the omission of pronouns 'to my state grew stranger, being transported and rapt in secret studies'. The language of characters who arrive later in the scene, Ariel and Caliban is also interesting. Ariel, a spirit, uses language full of movement 'be't to fly, to swim to dive into the fire, to ride on the curled clouds', while Caliban use base language of the earth and animals 'the fresh springs, brine pits, barren place...toads, beetles bats'. ...read more.


There is also an interest contrast between non-human Ariel who often has more compassion than the humans around him. Ferdinand and Caliban represent very contrasting suitors to Miranda. Themes of the scene tend to revolve around the responsibilities of power. Who has the right to control the island? As Caliban says 'This island's mine, by Sycorax my mother'. Prospero has already had his kingdom usurped by Antonio for which he accepts some of his own fault. His 'trust...sans bound'. Prospero neglected his state by 'being...rapt in secret studies', yet has stolen Caliban's island. This is similar to the Elizabethan colonialists who would steal land in the Americas, often on the false grounds that the original inhabitants were not human. To the audience of the time the parallels would be obvious. This would put Act 1 Scene 2, and the play in a very different light. By using the devices I have mentioned above, Shakespeare retains the audience's interest for the duration of Act 1 Scene 2. Although Shakespeare attempts to give the context of the play within the story of the scene, it is often too explicit to be the real words of the characters. Nonetheless, by using the protagonists to set the scene for the play rather than a detached narrator Shakespeare is on the whole successful in maintaining dramatic interest. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Prospero is a powerful character. What impression does the audience get of Prospero in ...

    4 star(s)

    Ariel boasts, "Sometime I'd divide and burn in many places". He then made sure that everyone got safely to the island, though they are now separated into small groups. Prospero rescued Ariel from a long imprisonment at the hands of the witch, Sycorax, and therefore Ariel is Prospero's servant until Prospero decides to release him.

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

    Prospero then gets even worse: "Silence! One word more Shall make me hide thee, if not hate thee." Here Prospero is adopting authoritarian attitude. He is saying that he could hate Miranda, because she should not be speaking up. Again, he is only doing this for Miranda's protection, but I do not think that he should

  1. What Impressions Of Prospero Do You Get From The Way He Talks and Acts ...

    cares only about his revenge and not what Ariel is feeling or thinking; "Is there more toil?" (Ariel), "there's more work" (Prospero). This evokes the audience to think that Prospero is completely selfish and heartless. However in Act 5 Scene 1, Prospero starts to value and heed Ariel's opinions.


    relate to this theme as they were relying on fate to settle the conflict between the Protestants and the Catholics. In this scene Gonzalo uses the metaphor, "Make the rope of his destiny our cable." This quote displays his devout belief that fate will show them the way.

  1. In what ways does Prospero use (and abuse) his power? Has he learned anything ...

    He often gloats about his supreme power over everyone, "All mine enemies are all knit up" Despite Prospero's control over everyone he pleases, he is not perfect and always in charge. An example of this is when he is celebrating to collaboration of Prospero and Miranda forgets about Caliban and

  2. 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.

  1. The Tempest Written By William Shakespeare - How does the opening scene capture the ...

    getting cardboard and shaking it to make it rubble, he will have to do this several times. To make the lightning he could have to get lots of candles and mirrors, this will reflect the light, making it flicker in different directions.

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

    Antonio, on the other hand, does not seem sorry or guilty for his actions and sins he had committed in the past as he remains quiet throughout Act 5 Scene 1 except some response when Sebastian ask him a question :- Very like; one of them /Is a plain fish,

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