Christianity in Shakespeare's Tempest Essay

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The fact that Shakespeare was enveloped by a society steeped in Christian ideals cannot be disputed. Plays such as the Tempest make this fact known. The main plot and the subplots of the Tempest can be extracted directly from the Bible. Prospero's character is largely the same as the god found in Christianity. Shakespeare wrote the Tempest with the portrayal of a Christian god and Christian motifs in mind. Consider the following facts as evidence. Both works begin with gods who possess power in the forms of words or books, and both gods use the written power to create. The power of the gods is mainly "white magic", a magic which attempts to bring about a good end. The creations later become a facet for manipulation for the…show more content…
Sharper than any two- edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12) The books are not the only source of power for Prospero and god. An audience is required to make both believable. In the Epilogue to the Tempest Prospero states: "Now tis true, I must be here confined by you." (Epilogue 3-4) This could be a reference to the Elizabethan audience's hold on Shakespeare, but foremost it is a statement of the limitations of Prospero's magic without the support of beings such as Caliban, who believe Prospero possesses magic. Without an audience Prospero's power is nothing. Similarly, it can be speculated that God is an image which is dependent solely on the power of the human mind to create him. Without a human audience there would be no god and no Prospero. So it can be safely stated that the purpose of creating servants was primarily to validate the gods' status. The god of the Old Testament and Prospero both deal with "white magic". Prospero's skills are used to bring about an ultimate good which
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