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The Tempest

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John Smith

on 5 October 2013

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Transcript of The Tempest

The Tempest
by William Shakespeare
Main Theme
Throughout the play, we find far more examples of someone acting in a wicked manner, trying to be malicious, than we do someone who acts in a morally upright way. When Prospero says “the rarer action is in virtue than vengeance” (5.1.27-28), we know he has finally hit the point at which he learns to forgive and act in an upstanding way. This is our theme for the play because we see that it is reflected often throughout. It makes a very interesting commentary on human nature and how humans in general will typically take the easier route of being deceitful and wicked, rather than virtuous and wholesome.
It is human nature to act in a wicked manner, rather than with virtuous intentions.
Their ineptitude aids the storm in causing the shipwreck. Yet, the boatswain is able to act out of kindness and forgive the noblemen instead of holding a grudge. This scene was seen when the boatswain enters and proclaims “The best news is, that we have safely found our King and company”. (5.1.221-222)
Masters and Servants
• Ariel is willingly Prospero’s servant. She is kind-hearted and likes to help, yet at heart wants her liberty.
• This is the master/servant relationship that is most detrimental to the lesson about how in human nature it is harder to be forgiving than it is to seek revenge, but more worthwhile.
• In the beginning, Caliban had had freedom. The island was his home and he was free to move about it at his own will. But then, Prospero came to the island ad enslaved him.

• In this relationship Prospero is very unforgiving.

Here we find the servants planning wicked deeds against their master, even though he has done nothing dishonourable to them. This helps to reinforce the idea that it is far easier to find nefariously intentioned actions than it is to find virtuous ones.
Gonzalo is the character Shakespeare created to say that even though most of humankind is evil, there is the exception; there are good people in the world too. The relationship between them shows how a virtuous person can respond, and even though it is a rare response, it is the better one.
Many of the master and servant relationships are dynamic and show that it can be hard to be a forgiving person and act in virtue, in fact finding someone’s whose actions are pure is very rare.
King/Nobles and Boatswain
Masters and Servants
Masters and Servants
Masters and Servants
Masters and Servants
Masters and Servants
Masters and Servants
Prospero and Caliban
Prospero and Ariel
Trinculo/Stefano and Caliban
Alonso and his Nobles
The Nobles and Gonzalo
Overall View
• In this relationship we see Caliban’s negative qualities and how easy it is to abandon a person.
• Caliban seems eager to be a servant and therefore doesn’t even have due cause to be hateful of Prospero, which thus illuminates the evil characteristic of human nature to be hateful rather than forgiving.
crested by Prospero
Throughout the play, appearance verse reality plays a very prevalent role. The island itself is full of magic – playing with everyone’s perception. “Be not afeared; the isle is full of noises. Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight, ad hurt not. Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments will hum about mine ears; and sometimes voices.” (3.2.134-137) Here Caliban is seen talking about the sounds that Prospero has Ariel play about the island in a way to manipulate and toy with everyone. The sounds, although they may sound sweet and harmless, could have wicked intentions. “What a thrice-double ass was I, to take this drunkard for a god and worship this dull fool” (5.1.295-298). Moreover, Caliban is talking about how he was deceived by Stephano’s appearance and wine. Even though serving this man appeared to be a great option for him, in reality it just made Caliban appreciate his old master, Prospero, more.
Appearance Versus Reality
Appearance versus reality. What something seems to be and what something really is. Such as how the king appears to be strong, smart, and knowing. But he really is deeply troubled and weak. How to the king, Sebastian and Antonio appear to be faithful to him, but in reality they plan to destroy and to take over the thrown, that is, if they were ever to return to their homeland. Everything that happened to the mariners and the nobles were believed to be caused by themselves or the demons of the isle. When it really was proposed by Prospero and the help of Ariel. The tempest, the storm, itself is an illusion. To the men it seemed as if they have reached the ends of their lives and were destined to crash, not knowing that they would actually survive and be morally challenged over the next hours/days of their lives. Only in the end to be reunited with the unknown reality that it was really Prospero the whole time planning for them to meet and reconcile. Although, Prospero still left them to believe it was the island's magic and not his own.
Appearance versus Reality
Prospero enslaving Caliban
Ariel listening attentively to Prospero's commands.
Caliban worshipping Stephano like a demigod.
Alonso refusing to listen to his nobles.
• In the beginning, Caliban had had freedom. The island was his home and he was free to move about it at his own will. But then, Prospero came to the island and enslaved him.

• In this relationship Prospero is very unforgiving.

Masters and Servants
Prospero and Caliban
Prospero enslaving Caliban
Masters and Servants
Trinculo/Stefano and Caliban
• In this relationship we see Caliban’s negative qualities and how easy it is to abandon a person.
• Caliban seems eager to be a servant and therefore doesn’t even have due cause to be hateful of Prospero, which thus illuminates the evil characteristic of human nature to be hateful rather than forgiving.
Caliban worshipping Stephano like a demigod.
Gonzalo is the character Shakespeare created to say that even though most of humankind is evil, there is the exception; there are good people in the world too. The relationship between them shows how a virtuous person can respond, and even though it is a rare response, it is the better one.
Masters and Servants
The Nobles and Gonzalo
In this clip, we see the master and servant relationship between Lucius Malfoy And dobby the house elf. Mr Malfoy horribly abuses the house elf because he is greedy and power-hungry, neither of which are qualities to me proud of. This is similar to how Prospero treats Caliban. Both of the masters treat their servants very poorly, rather than acting in virtue. This parallels our theme of human nauture.
• The objective of chess is to capture and trap the king, also known as checkmate.
• When Prospero reveals Ferdinand and Miranda playing chess in the last scene, Prospero had captured the king – checkmate.
• Prospero still sees Miranda as a mere pawn.
• Prospero said to Ariel, “As mountain winds: but then exactly do all points of my command”. The scenes where Ariel messing with the boatswain, mariners, and the nobles.
• The whole play was a game of chess.

The Game of Chess
The video of the evil queen from snow white is relevant because she is not as she appears. The appearance is that she is just a pleasant old woman offering her an apple out of kindness, however in reality she has wicked intentions due to her jealousy. Jealousy is not a virtue. The contrast between appearance and reality is what she relied on to attack snow white. This helps to support our idea that human find it easier to act wickedly than to act with virtue.
This video is of Geri, the old man who is playing a game of chess alone, manipulating both sides of the game. This man is just like Prospero, the sole player of chess in the play. Geri manipulates all the pieces so that the game goes just the way he wants, and he relishes in the joy he gets when he succeeds. This is just like Prospero's wickedly intentioned game of chess, where he too manipulated everything and everyone so it all went just the way he wanted. While Geri was playing just for kicks, chess is generally an intelectual game of revenge and wicked intent.
"It is easier and more common for a human to act with wicked intentioms than it is to act with virtue." This is the statement our group came up with for the theme of The Tempest. We found support for this in the master and servant relationship, through which one could often see the cause of action was jealousy or hatred. There was also support found through the reccuring idea of appearance versus reality, in which intentions might appear to be true, but in fact are wicked. The game of chess was a major symbol throughout the play and that too supports our theme because chess is a game of revenge. The point at which Prospero changed from acting maliciously to behaving in a more moral way was when he uttered the phrase "the rarer action is in virtue than in vengeance", this was also the quote that inspired our theme.
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