How is the theme of magic presented in Act 1 Scene 2 of The Tempest and Act 5 Scene 1. What was the Elizabethan attitude to magic at the time?

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How is the theme of magic presented in Act 1 Scene 2 of The Tempest and Act 5 Scene 1. What was the Elizabethan attitude to magic at the time?   

In this essay I will analyze the theme of magic in Act 1 Scene 2 and in Act 5 Scene 1 of the Tempest, and I will also look at Elizabethan attitude to magic at the time.

The theme of magic was very important in the 1600s in the Elizabethan age.

James I believed in the Divine Rights of Kings, he thought that he was God’s voice on Earth. He thought that if God was represented on Earth, then so was evil. People believed that witches contained evil, women were dunked/stoned/hung if they were found out to be a witch, as it was seen as ridding the world of evil, England was religious:- good v evil. This all relates to the Tempest because the Tempest is all about magic, it is set on a magic island and the main character(Prospero) uses magic spells to achieve his intensions.

Also the Tempest meant in Shakespeare’s days a very angry stormy temper, it also meant a magical process changing things into gold.

The play the Tempest is about Prospero the Duke of Milan & his daughter(Miranda), they were one day chucked onto a boat, they were meant to drown, but Gonzalo a dear friend of Prospero supplied them with food, drink & books on the boat, Antonio, Prospero’s brother and Alonso the King ordered them to be put onto the boat. They then arrive on a strange magical island, Prospero learns magic over the time, and Miranda, his daughter grows up, Prospero then gets King Alonso & Antonio & Gonzalo & other servants to come to the island by causing a storm when they are on a boat. He then talks to them, and he realises that it is better to forgive them rather than just get his revenge on Alonso & Antonio, so Prospero forgives Antonio & Alonso & and he thanks his old friend Gonzalo for all his help. Prospero then decides to give up magic and wants to return to his normal life and go back to Milan. After all this Prospero, Miranda, Ferdinand, Gonzalo, Alonso and Antonio all return to Milan, and Prospero becomes the Duke again.

The 2 scenes that I will be analyzing are Act 1 Scene 2, and Act 5 Scene 1.

In this section I will analyze how the theme of magic is presented in Act 1 Scene 2.

In Act 1 Scene 2 the theme of magic is mainly presented by Ariel, a magic spirit that flys around and is a servant of Prospero as he freed Ariel from the evil spell that the monstrous witch Sycorax put on Ariel. Ariel causes the storm that caused the boat with Alonso & Antonio to crash onto shore.

Prospero likes to order Ariel to perform magic for him:-“Hast thou spirit performed to point the tempest that I bade thee?”. This shows that Prospero is a very powerful magician who can even control the elements, it also shows that Prospero uses Ariel to perform magic for him and he can even control Ariel.

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Prospero, oneday reminds Ariel about Sycorax & evil black magic:-“Hast thou forgotten the evil witch Sycorax?”. This was to remind Ariel of Sycorax and how she used her magic in an evil way intended for bad purposes and how badly she treated Ariel, it was also to remind Ariel that Prospero uses his magic for good purposes, not for evil.

Prospero also uses his magic to control people less intelligent than himself:-“He, that Caliban, whom now I keep in service”. This shows that Prospero keeps the hideous Caliban as his slave and servant to perform various duties for him. Caliban ...

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