Conflict and Harmony in The Tempest Essay

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Conflict and Harmony in The Tempest William Shakespeare describes a 'utopic' world saturated with supernatural images and ideas which works to create the mysterious island where The Tempest takes place. This is one of Shakespeare's best examples of how a natural harmony reveals itself through the actions of discourse and confusion. To illustrate this idea best one must examine the historical context upon which The Tempest is based. Because this play was published in the early 1600s, controversial cultural and political events undoubtedly surface. Furthermore, by analyzing the sub-plots in the play, the reader has a better understanding of Shakespeare's purpose for including multi-plots, which is to create conflicts that all…show more content…
However, in The Tempest, Shakespeare never gives the island a name, and the exclusion of a name works to create a more imaginary and mystical atmosphere. There are several historical sources and events upon which the play is based. According to Geoffrey Bullough, in his Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare, The Tempest, undeniably, is founded upon William Strachey's "True Reparatory of the Wreck and Redemption" and Ovid's Metamorphoses (Vaughan and Vaughan 24). In terms of cultural history, The Tempest takes root from American colonization and African slavery. More recently, however, the treatment of Native Americans in this country has been equated with Prospero's treatment of Caliban (Vaughan and Vaughan 145). This victimizing image of colonization is manifested when Caliban first introduces himself: This island's mine, by Sycorax my mother Which though tak'st from me. When thou camist first... And then I loved thee And showed thee all the qualities o' th' isle... Cursed be I that did so! For I am the subjects that you have, Which first was mine own king; and here you sty me In this hard rock, whiles you do keep
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