Friday, 8 November 2019

Critically comment on the use of symbols in The Tempest

The Tempest by William Shakespeare is rich in symbolism. Indeed, the number of allegorical meanings found in it is surprising. Prospero, Caliban, Ariel, and even the other character have been interpreted by critics as possessing symbolic significance.

The idea of the transitoriness of this world and all things in it has symbolically been conveyed through this play. In this context, the masque in Act IV is important because the masque is presented by spirits who melt into the thin air as soon as they have done their job. The spirits thus symbolize the fleeting nature of all things and even of the universe in which we live.Prospero's very name symbolizes both prosperity and providence. He illustrates the truth that man can master his own destiny through strict and spiritual discipline. Prospero has a multiple role in The Tempest. We will consider Prospero's character under two different aspects-as a man and father and on the other side as a magician and ruler.Miranda represents fertility in woman. She also symbolizes Eve. The marriage of Ferdinand and Miranda symbolizes the ripening, maturity, and perfection of art. The theme of usurpation and reconciliation symbolizes the struggle between good and evil, between order and chaos. Ariel is the symbol of modesty and loyalty. He serves Prospero loyally, lovingly, cheerfully and wisely. He also symbolizes freedom. He has a long thirst for freedom. Ariel embodies fancy and the imaginative genius of poetry.However, Caliban symbolizes three different ideas. Firstly, Caliban is an embodiment of the supernatural. He is born of the union of a witch and a devil; hence his deformity. Secondly. Caliban is a slave. As a slave he hates his task master, hates all "service". And he again embodies one of the leading social ideas of the play, namely, slavery and the revolt against slavery. Thirdly, Caliban is a dispossessed Indian. Thus the use of symbols make The Tempest very agreeable and successful.
Tempest symbol

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