The Tempest By Shakespeare English Literature Essay

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The Tempest is a drama which indulges the audience in a series of play and tragic events. The subjects that are strongly felt revolve around the construct of thaumaturgy and theater. However, the societal mobility between the different categories of people is besides apparent in the manner the characters conduct themselves. The hierarchal construction is extremely observed as it determines an person ‘s societal standings in the thick of the society ( Greenbaltt, 1988, p. 17 ) . The characters in the drama tend to believe that the societal place of an person is determined based on his background. Therefore, the household background provides a fixed sentiment when it comes to the societal placement. The household background is used to find the societal evaluation of an person.

Get downing with the place upheld by the male monarch, it indicates that the male monarch was given the authorization and viewed as a God by the people. The remainder of the hierarchy that falls beneath him will be rated harmonizing to their position under the male monarch. The societal position maintained by the male monarch was supposed to be transpired to his kids so that the heritage can keep in the household ‘s boundaries. This is what would find the manner the society viewed an person. Looking at Prospero in The Tempest, he is forced to populate with his girl in a isolated island for 12 old ages ( Shakespeare, 1982 ) . In the island they are encountered with many liquors but they meet Caliban who is the lone person that is non a spirit in the island. However, Caliban has an ugly visual aspect as a distorted monster. He falls in love with the Duke Prospero ‘s girl Miranda. However, this does non travel far as Caliban is subjected to slavery by Prospero after he attempts to ravish his girl Miranda.

However, there is a alteration of event one time Ferdinand and Miranda cross waies. The male parent Prospero is seen to be rather happy with the nature of their relationship and works difficult at seeking to do certain that they fall in love. The fact that Prospero agrees to the brotherhood between his girl Ferdinand shows that eh approves of the societal evaluations of Ferdinand. This assures him that his girl will go on with the same societal assessment that he has maintained in the old ages he spent in the island. The fact that Ferdinand comes from a Royal household indicates that his societal visual aspect is extremely regarded and the same will follow for Prospero ‘s girl one time she gets married to him.

The subject of love affair that is depicted in the narrative is in contemplation of the traditional manner of exhibiting love affair. It brings out the fabricated province of love affair in the traditional scenes other than the ordinary love affairs that most audiences are used to ( Shakespeare, 1982, p.11 ) . The traditional schemes were chiefly focused on the supernatural universe and love based on rolling. The same is exhibited by the two persons Miranda and Ferdinand in The Tempest. Where the scenes of the support of Miranda are based on supernatural universe where they doomed to remain with her male parent ( Greenbaltt, 1988, p. 18 ) . These are non rather the scenes that one would anticipate in the ordinary life. The facet of roving and find is brought out by King Alonso ‘s boy Ferdinand where he gets lost after the ship wreck triggered by Prospero ‘s thaumaturgy. In his wretchedness as he tries to happen his manner back to his household, he meets the Miranda and he falls in love instantly. The fact that he finds love based on the traditional scenes that have been used signifier coevals to coevals creates suspense that suggests societal mobility in the drama. Shakespeare opts to utilize the traditional scenes so as to prosecute the audience on a different subject that is hidden under the major subject of love affair.

The facet of societal control is besides rather apparent throughout the drama where it is manifested in some of the chief subjects of the drama. Magic and power control is the chief subject but the chief ground behind the power is struggle is the chance to hold societal control. The wealth and power of an person defined the societal business of an person. The battle between two brothers is brought approximately by the construct of green-eyed monster that is triggered by a power battle. Achieving power and wealth would put one at a higher criterion than the remainder of the people. It is rather obvious that this realisation threatened the place that Alonso occupied therefore, doing the determination of acquiring rid of his brother Prospero ( Shakespeare, 1982, p. 12 ) . The societal place occupied by Prospero before he is sent off with his girl is that of a higher degree in the hierarchy ( Greenbaltt, 1988, p. 22 ) . However, he is reduced to a life of fighting before, he maintains his place once more. When he is sent away to populate in the abandoned island, he hardly survives the blow that was meant to kill him and after he regains himself, he is able to presume control of the island. His societal place is raised to a higher degree than that he had expected as he additions a batch of control and power in the island.

Towards the terminal of the drama, Miranda ends up with Ferdinand, who is the boy of the King Alonso. This helps them do a large displacement in their societal position every bit good. This can besides be used to explicate the fact why Prospero did non desire his girl to hold any dealingss with Caliban. This would non hold increased their societal position positively but instead would hold undermined it ( Shakespeare, 1982 ) . The place that Caliban occupied in the island was non high at a societal degree despite the fact that he had lived in the island long plenty and understood it good.

The facet of societal mobility is besides apparent in the life of Caliban. Having been the lone person who was non a spirit in the island for rather a long clip, Caliban occupied rather a high place in the island socially. However, the reaching of Prospero and his girl created a new societal criterion that Caliban found hard to vie with. The fact that Prospero possessed the thaumaturgy and he could be able to command certain factors ranked him on top of the hierarchy in the abandoned island ( Greenbaltt, 1988, p. 20 ) . This forces Caliban to accept a new societal position one take a societal position that was below what he had gotten acquainted to. After his attempted colza on Miranda his societal position shifted to a much lower province since hew as subjected to slavery despite the relationship he had shared with Prospero and his girl before.

The function played by Ferdinand is that of royalty and his societal place in the society is rather high. This is in respects to the fact that his male parent is a male monarch. Therefore, his background is stable and instantly he additions societal acknowledgment due to the fact that he possesses wealth and power based on how his male parent is viewed in the society. However, this alterations after the shipwreck caused by his Prospero, he is separated from his male parent and assumed a new function in the abandoned island ( Shakespeare, 1982 ) . He discovers shortly plenty that he does non demand the same regard that he did earlier as his background is non known to the dwellers of the island. Therefore, he is forced to subject himself to the opinion of Prospero. After he falls in love with the girl of Prosper, Miranda and Prospero takes advantage of the state of affairs by turning Ferdinand into a retainer.

The fact that the societal position of Ferdinand was recognized harmonizing to the hierarchal construction was non recognized in the island and he was forced to stay by the authorization of the shacking swayer. His place in the society was really little in the island and he accepted it as he was new at that place. Working as a retainer was no job for Ferdinand as he wanted to turn out his love for Miranda every bit good. However, he is seen to mount the societal ladder once more one time he decides to travel back to his land where he is recognized as royal.

The Twelfth Night is the drama done by Shakespeare and it is done under the scenes of a romantic comedy. The drama attracts audience based on the two subjects of love affair and comedy. However, looking at the drama closely there are different societal scenes to be observed by the audience. They enhance the facet of societal mobility in the drama despite the fact that it is non portion of the chief subjects. The increasing confusion continues to turn as the drama unfolds as there is the instance of the misguided docket every bit good as the tenseness in the play ( Grube, 2007, p. 7 ) . In all of these there is the societal behavior that is extremely observed by the society and which divides the characters harmonizing to the places they occupy in the society ( Greenbaltt, 1988, p. 21 ) . The actions of the characters are determined by the regard that they have for the societal criterions that have been set for them. However, societal mobility is rather apparent in the drama through the major subjects presented by the characters.

In the drama the facet of gender is greatly reflected as it plays a major function in the love affair that the characters depict. The confusion in the drama is triggered by the gender functions played by some of the characters. When the female character Viola disguises herself as a adult male, she initiates the facet of confusion and societal gender mobility in the drama ( Ellen, 1998, p. 15 ) . How she conducts herself as a adult female displacement when she assumes the function of a adult male. This shows the differences that existed in the societal scenes of different genders during the ancient times. The camouflage that Viola assumes in her favour forces other people to do errors when it comes to woo. The Duke Orsino is in love with Olivia while Viola is in love with the Duke. The Duke opts to utilize Viola whom he refers to as Cesario since he has been tricked to believe that she is a adult male and he considers her his intimate. Viola is in love with the duke and has many chances to do this clear to him but she can non be able to carry through her desires ( Elllen, 1998 ) . The fact that she assumes the function of a adult male forbids doing any romantic progresss to another adult male. Therefore, she adheres to what the society dictates when it comes to gender.

On the other manus Olivia finds herself falling in love with Viola because she thinks that she is a adult male every bit good. Viola who now assumes the function of Cessario her male character can non be able to explicate to Olivia that she is a adult female hence, resists the progresss made by Olivia ( Ellen, 1998, p. 15 ) . This shows that Viola understood the criterions set by the society when it came to woo and gender therefore, did non desire to go against some of the regulations. The alteration in societal mobility in the gender factor that is exhibited by Viola shows that she had to do several accommodations when confronted with different state of affairss.

The geographical differences presented in the drama provide an chance of exerting the facet of societal mobility by the characters. The societal criterions that are set in one land are non the same observed in a different geographical context. The drama gives us prevues of other lands and how the societal position is determined by them through the behaviour of the characters. Given that the scenes are of the Elizabethan times the citizens conduct themselves harmonizing to the clip frame set ( Shakespeare, 2004 ) . This is apparent when Malvolio receives a missive from Maria. This creates an exhilaration in his life and he views himself mounting the societal ladder. He is dreams of his hereafter where he occupies a place of power in his life ( Greenbaltt, 1988, p. 23 ) . This is a societal passage given the logical thinking that Malvolio is a head steward for Olivia and he believes that he can hold a alteration in his place in the society.

Throughout the drama it is rather clear that Malvolio has certain aspirations that he aims for. All these revolve around lifting in the societal ladder and being able to derive acknowledgment in the society through wealth and power. He proves to be rather competent in his workplace but when the missive from Maria arrives, Malvolio thinks it is from Olivia as he has been tricked to believe so ( Grube, 2007, p. 10 ) . Immediately he is convinced that the missive is decidedly form Olivia his societal behaviour alterations instantly and he assumes features that would see him royal every bit good. Despite the fact that the remainder of the people believe that Malvolio is non a baronial individual, a trait in him that can non be changed, he tries his best to suit in the class ( Greenbaltt, 1988, p. 23 ) . Therefore, the societal mobility in Malvolio is in his character despite the fact that he is rather different from what he depicts.

His desire of achieving power and wealth is so great that he would be bale to alter his features so that he can achieve the place. This was instead different than what is expected form the society as a baronial adult female would non be expected to acquire married to a adult male who was of a lower position than hers. Therefore, his aspirations appeared to be instead obscure particularly since Malvolio appeared to believe in the phantasy.

The societal hierarchies that are chiefly observed were instead different in the drama as Maria besides had an chance to alter her societal position and she uses it. Therefore, she improves her place in the society by acquiring married to Sir Toby ( Shakespeare, 2004 ) . Despite the fact that she had different aspirations when accepting the proposal, it still served the same intent of bettering her societal place.

However, in the attempt to gull Malvolio, Maria and Sir Toby managed to alter the societal position of Malvolio to a lower degree than what he expected. Due to the missive that he had received form Maria, Malvolio made certain accommodations in his behaviour and dressing. Harmonizing to the missive, Malvolio was instructed to be ill-mannered to the other retainers, smiling invariably in the presence of Olivia and to do certain that he wore xanthous stockings. He followed these instructions as this meant his societal position had been changed nevertheless, the consequences were non what he anticipated ( Greenbaltt, 1988, p. 24 ) . Olivia concluded that Malvolio was insane and that he should seek intervention. This does non travel good with Malvolio as he insists that he is sane and the remainder of the people are insane. His actions make him be regarded as huffy harmonizing to what the society considered to be normal hence, the societal place of Malvolio changed from being caput retainer to being rendered a huffy individual and locked up.

The society in the drama appears to judge an single harmonizing to the manner of vesture exhibited by the characters. Therefore, how an person dressed defined their place in the society and the characters tried to presume different places by utilizing different types of vesture. Malvolio feels he has an duty to dress up in xanthous stockings in order to pull Olivia. He believes that the dressing would hold an consequence in his evaluation in the society by going a baronial adult male and in bend feel like he deserves to get married the Countess Olivia. Feste besides dresses up as a priest when he goes to see Malvolio in the lair where he is locked up. The fact that Feste dresses up despite the room being dark and Malvolio non being able to detect emphasizes on the importance of the vesture ( Grube, 2007, p. 13 ) . The same actions are observed by Viola in her camouflage as a adult male.

Therefore, this shows that the vesture defined one ‘s position in the society and the simple action of altering the normal vesture changed the societal facets that one had observed earlier. The society besides views the person otherwise harmonizing to the dressing as it defined the type of individual the person is.

In general, the two dramas can be categorized as narrations of societal mobility. The features that one exhibits in the society are used to judge him and this can besides be changed harmonizing to different factors. The societal place of an person in the society can be determined by different factors such as ; wealth, power, gender and other related factors. The simple alterations made in these countries makes different persons assume different societal positions. This is apparent in The Tempest drama where the different characters keep altering their societal places due to the alterations that take topographic point in their lives. The people are able to accommodate to different societal life styles and encompass them as their ain this triggers the factor of societal mobility ( Grube, 2007, p. 12 ) . However, in The Twelfth Night the facet of societal gender mobility is more marked than that depending on wealth and power. Therefore, the societal mobility facet can be derived organize the dramas based on the different subjects being defined by the characters in the drama.


Ellen, M. , 1998. Tracing heterosexual erotic of service in ‘Twelfth Night ‘ and the autobiographical Hagiographas of Thomas Whythorne and Anne Clifford. Viewed 5 Jan 2011 hypertext transfer protocol: //

Greenbaltt, S.1988. Shakespearian dialogues: the circulation of societal energy in Renaissance England. Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Grube, P. , 2007. Shakespeare ‘s Twelfth Night: Topicality as a Problem. USA: Martin Luther King Institution.

Shakespeare, W. , 2004. Twelfth dark. New York: Concept Corp.

Shakespeare, W. , 1892. The Tempest. Philadelphia: Lippincott Press.