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'The Tempest is concerned with government - of the self and of the state' Discuss with reference to Act One.

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Introduction

Katrina Stalker English Literature The Tempest - Essay Question 'The Tempest is concerned with government - of the self and of the state' Discuss with reference to Act One Act one of 'The Tempest' takes place at sea during a storm which the nobles of Milan and Naples get caught in and also on an island inhabited by Prospero, Miranda, Ariel and Caliban. Prospero brings the nobles to the island through his creation of the storm. Act one is also concerned with the theme of government of the self and of the state to a certain extent. Prospero is the character most obviously concerned with this theme. His preoccupation with being self-discipline led him to neglect his commitment to the state as the Duke of Milan. ...read more.

Middle

above (his) dukedom' However being a good political ruler is associated with the idea that you have control over others and it is clear to the audience that Prospero can control Miranda, Ariel and Caliban. He controls Miranda through who she does and doesn't see in regard to Ariel and Ferdinand, with Ariel he harnesses his magical abilities for this own profit and he uses Caliban to carry out his general labour Antonio is another character that concerns himself with government of self and state. Unlike with Prospero, Antonio's lack of self-discipline at taking the dukedom from his brother actually leads him to be quite and astute political leader. Antonio 'new created the creatures' that were Prospero's and 'set all hearts i' the state/ To what tone pleased (Antonio's) ...read more.

Conclusion

Antonio could be seen to be acting in the best interest of the state in the absence of Prospero which could be seen as an admirable quality rather than Prospero's neglect of the state through selfish reasons. I believe that it could be seen that Antonio is not neglecting self-discipline as it does involve the idea of being true and doing what is best for yourself and generally people do like and want power and if there was the opportunity to take it you would. I think this idea would be understandable to both Shakespearean audiences as well as those of the present day because of the change in monarchy at the time and with today's power, money orientated consumerism. I feel that Antonio's supposed lack of government of the self is more justified then Prospero's lack of government of the state. ...read more.

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