Discuss the Dramatic Significance of the opening scene of The Tempest

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Camilla Corbett, Luxmoore                        CJS

Discuss the Dramatic Significance of the Opening Scene of Shakespeare’s Play ‘The Tempest’

The opening scene of William Shakespeare’s play ‘The Tempest’ is a dramatic significance for many reasons.  The name of the poem is linked into the story straight away because these men are trapped on a ship in the midst of a storm which is the literal meaning for tempest.  The tempest itself is like an eruption of drama and action, the way it destroys is almost symbolic of overthrow and usurpation which is echoed later on in the book.  The fact that there is a king on board the ship makes this scene all the more tense because if the storm succeeds in destroying their ship then he shall probably be killed along with most the men which is very likely considering that a tempest is probably the most dangerous storm to be caught up in.

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In this opening we find out the roles and characteristics of some of the lead characters. One of these is the optimistic Gonzalo who tries to release the great tenseness on the ship by reassuring the men that they will not be killed by the storm because the boatswain has the mark of hanging on him and uses this superstitious belief to try and relax his shipmates.  Another character whose personality is revealed well is that of Antonio.  He is a arrogant, rude and unpleasant character who does not agree with the way that the boatswain disrupts the hierarchy on ...

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