Many claim that Shakespeare's last attempt at the theatre was unsuccessful; resulting in a play that is, in essence, about nothing. The Tempest.

Authors Avatar

Many claim that Shakespeare’s last attempt at the theatre was unsuccessful; resulting in a play that is, in essence, about nothing. The Tempest may appear this way at first, in the same way that the storm in the play appears to be Mother Nature acting up; but just as the tempest is more than a windstorm, The Tempest has more to it than meets the eye. It is instead a symbolic story of life in the theatre, a final farewell as Shakespeare leaves his career as a playwright.

The Tempest is brimming with suggestion towards the theatre and the art of acting. The audience must be aware of the implication behind the words in order to understand these suggestions.

The Tempest begins with an actual tempest, a storm created by Prospero to draw his adversaries near. It is this storm that starts the chain of action in the play, which eventually leads to the resolution of justice. The tempest comes to symbolise the twists and turns within a play, and the illusions that are often discovered by the viewer. This storm goes to demonstrate that all in theatre is not as it seems, and that one event can drastically change the suspected outcome. The tempest, as title of, and introduction to the play, also symbolises the power of attraction. Without the tempest, Prospero could not have attracted his adversaries to the island, as without the story of The Tempest, Shakespeare could not have attracted his audience to the theatre.

Join now!

When considering The Tempest as an allegorical look at theatre life, it is necessary to look outside the words and discover meaning behind the characters, thoughts and places within the play. The first concept to contemplate when considering theatre is the stage, where all of the action occurs. Prospero’s magic island is the ideal illustration of a Shakespearian stage; a place where stories are told, conflicts are brought to an end, and magical things happen. The island, which Prospero inhabits for the duration of the play, is one of magic, as the stage is a place of magic and illusion. In ...

This is a preview of the whole essay