• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5

Explore the theme of transformation in 'The Tempest '. Show with particular reference to Prospero, how the characters in the play undergo change.

Extracts from this document...


Explore the theme of transformation in 'The Tempest '. Show with particular reference to Prospero, how the characters in the play undergo change. Transformation manifests itself in a number of ways throughout The Tempest, the play is based around revenge, mainly the revenge of Prospero, and so by the end of the play, with the use of his magic on the characters there is some sort of transformation or resolution in the characters. However, this simple transformation of character is not as simple as it appears and the conclusion of the essay sums up the difficulty of 'closure' in the play. 'The Tempest' revolves around the sayings and doings of one character. We first meet Prospero in Act 1, where he is established as the most prominent character in the play, with the most power. He uses this magical power, which he acquired from studying books, to manipulate the events that take place throughout the performance. For this reason, he has the ultimate control over all of the characters. At the start of the play Prospero is agitated, bitter and resentful, having been severely mislead by his brother, Antonio, and being exiled by the King of Naples. He has set up the situation we find the play in. We see several different sides to Prospero's character for the duration of the play. Firstly, a loving father, a love for magic and a love for learning, and it was because of this love for both magic and learning that caused him to neglect his responsibilities as the Duke of Milan. ...read more.


(3.1.54-56) In this example she pledges her virginity to Ferdinand, this is unexpected from her as she is so isolated from society, yet she understands the attitudes of the people that she has never been around. Ferdinand is warned by Prospero not to "break her virgin-knot" before the wedding or they will experience misfortunes beyond both of their control and they "shall hate it both". Ferdinand heeds this warning and the sanctimonious marriage takes place. Their marriage is a transformation organised by Prospero before Ferdinand's arrival on the island, it was a political move to secure Prospero's place as the Duke of Milan and ensure Miranda's future by making her Queen. However, Prospero never mentions the power that he and his daughter are regaining because of this "rich gift", or the true price or purchase of his daughter's hand, and the fact that the marriage is not consummated before the ceremony is equally important to him because it is his prime bargaining chip and will secure both of their positions in Italy. Ferdinand and Miranda's love is the same sort of instant physical attraction that Romeo and Juliet had, although Romeo and Juliet's love wasn't influence by a mischievous spirit like Ariel and a powerful father like Prospero. King Alonso of Naples begins his entrance as a man who wants control, "Where's the master? Play the men." (I.I.8-9). However, once he arrives on the island, with his companions, and he comes to a realisation that his son is dead, he becomes a withdrawn character who says little and wants to hear even less. ...read more.


In conclusion, a major theme running throughout the entire work is forgiveness versus vengeance; Prospero causes the tempest out of a wish for revenge, but by the end of the work, he decides to forgive the crimes against him, fabricated or otherwise. Prospero declares his friends repentant, though they are not; Alonso expresses his regret, but Antonio, who has the most to be sorry for, expresses no remorse. The circle of forgiveness remains unresolved by the end of the play, but, in a moment of irony, Prospero believes that closure has been reached. Throughout the play, Prospero does direct a disproportionate amount of blame towards Alonso, leading him to abduct and enslave Alonso's son Ferdinand; when confronting his friends Prospero's actually call his Antonio "a furtherer in the act", a great understatement of Antonio's actual role as prime perpetrator of the crime against Prospero. Alonso expresses complete penitence, asking Prospero to "Pardon me my wrongs" (5.1.119), and he achieves some sort of reconciliation with Prospero, through his willingness to cooperate with Prospero's wishes of reconciliation. Also ironic is that the only crime that Prospero charges Antonio with is conspiring to kill Alonso, which Prospero himself arranged through Ariel; although Prospero focused his great anger on Antonio almost exclusively in Act I, by the end of the play he has quite ironically forgotten his primary motivation in causing the tempest and brining the dignitaries and their companions to the island. In this sense, the transformation that the characters have undergone has not been that great. Transformation in the Tempest Page 1 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Gizel Hulusi - 10BG English Coursework - The Tempest ...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. Prospero and Miranda's relationship in the Tempest is a strongly bonded one.

    Prospero says: "They are both in either's powers, but this swift Business I must uneasy make, lest too light winning Make the prize light." One aspect of this is when Prospero threatens Ferdinand and sees whether he will stick up for himself.

  2. The Tempest - Prospero character analysis - How do his actions and the attitude ...

    He reduces Ferdinand to the same social status that Prospero and Miranda where reduced to when Prospero was usurped from being the Duke of Milan. He seems to also treat him much the same as Caliban, although the language he uses reflects more respect towards Ferdinand.

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

    Abusing his power he continues to threaten Ferdinand despite his initial acceptance to Prospero's deal, "Do not give dalliance too much the rein" Here he warns him again after Ferdinand had already acknowledged his first warning. This shows Prospero abusing his power merely because he can.

  2. Shakespeare has made Caliban the most violent and savage character, but has also given ...

    Shakespeare creates atmosphere through language in Act 1 scene 2, to show how Prospero treats Caliban. "Thou shalt have cramps." The language used is spiteful which shows there is tension and aggression in the atmosphere. This reveals the nature of Prospero's character as it shows he is evil to Caliban.

  1. Analysis of 'The Tempest'

    Ariel was ordered a task to investigate and puts Alonso to sleep using magic to see what Alonso's brother Sebastian and Antonio have to say to each other. Antonio ends up persuading Sebastian to kill his brother and make himself King of Naples.

  2. Explore the dramatic impact of the tempest scene in Act 1, Scene 1 in ...

    What cares these roarers for the name of king? To cabin. Silence! Trouble us not." Finally his patience has snapped. He says "when the sea is" in response to Gonzalo's request for him to be patient, meaning that he will become more tolerant when the storm has also become more tolerant.

  1. How is the theme of magic presented in Act 1 Scene 2 of The ...

    This shows what Prospero thinks of how Sycorax used her magic, and Prospero does not approve of this, plus this also highlights the multitude of evil acts that Sycorax performed. Islands are often viewed as magical places in films and literature because islands are enchanted, strange and magical places away

  2. Studying the character of Caliban in The Tempest

    ?I?ll yield him thee asleep, where thou mayst knock a nail into his head,? This method of death is very gory, showing he is a very violent person, as knocking a nail into ones head involves a huge amount of blood.

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