Jermaine Johnson

English 155c

Due: September 25, 2003

Hegemony is everything

     In the Tempest Shakespeare gives the reader his typical romance.  As in any good romance you have heroes and villains, and with Shakespeare characters can reveal both roles.  In the case of Gonzalo, the councilor to the king (Ferdinand), the reader is introduced to one of the few well-tempered, good-hearted characters in the story.  He’s loyal, optimistic and has no apparent dark side in him.  His good nature is made most apparent in his description of an ideal commonwealth.  As in most commonwealths, it had its apparent advantages, but most would argue that the disadvantages supersede the positives.  This paper will suggest that regardless of the advantages or disadvantages of Gonzalo’s commonwealth, its purpose was to show what the island could have been possible without the struggle for hegemony, and more importantly how that struggle for hegemony parallel’s Shakespeare’s society, and society today.

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     The advantages of Gonzalo’s commonwealth are multiple in my eyes.  The island as the reader knows it is filled with people who do not want to be there.   Gonzalo, in his optimistic nature, describes a way to make a commonwealth that would accentuate the positives of the situation.  In his commonwealth, society would be completely opposite to the way they knew it, and quite frankly the way society is today.  His society is described as one without the constraints of money and poverty, and because of that there is no need for servants, inheritance, or even employment.°  ...

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