The Tempest As a Christion Allegory Essay

1531 WordsMar 4, 20127 Pages
The Tempest The Tempest has at various times been read as a Christian allegory of forgiveness or a play about Jacobean politics. Which do you see as the most satisfactory way of reading the play: * When first produced? * Nowadays? Among Shakespeare's last plays, The Tempest is widely considered to be one of Shakespeare's most original plays as there is no known source for the main plot. Since its first production in the early 17th century The Tempest has bee interpreted in a vast variety of different ways by audiences both then and now, most commonly as a Christian allegory of forgiveness or a play about Jacobean politics. These two ideas that I will look at are easily seen throughout the plot and are reflected in the dramatic structure of the play. This, along with Shakespeare’s use of language supports the themes and helps our understanding of these ideas. There is no doubt that forgiveness is a crucial part of the Christian faith, as well as to the plot of The Tempest. In the bible there is frequent mention of Gods forgiveness, and how if we wish to follow him, we must first forgive others as he forgave us. Considering this idea it is easy to draw parallels between The Tempest and an allegory for Christian forgiveness. The entire play is set over Prospero’s ordeal with his brother and the nobles. His original plans for revenge gradually change over the course of events and in the end Prospero’s anger is quelled and we see a more compassionate and forgiving side to his character. Prospero’s plans for revenge originate in his previous occupation as Duke of Milan. In Act I we are told of how Prospero became neglectful of his duties as a result of his experimentation with magic. This led to his brother Antonio, gradually assuming complete control. Once in power, Antonio conspired with the king of Naples, to have Prospero and his daughter removed

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