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    Shakespeare’s language Essay (1539 words)

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    On another part of the island, Trinculo and Stephano are busy getting drunk and introducing alcohol to the clueless Caliban, which creates humour in the scene. Stephano manipulates Caliban, who then volunteers to be a slave to Stephano, rather than Prospero. Ariel enters in an invisible form as Caliban reveals his plan for Stephano to take revenge on Prospero while he is sleeping, and then kill him. Stephano will then become the king of the island and Miranda to be his queen and Trinculo and Caliban as his deputies.

    “There thou mayst brain him, having first seized his books; or with a log batter his skull” – Caliban “I will kill this man. His daughter and I will be king and queen – ‘save our graces! – and Trinculo and thyself shall be viceroys.” – Stephano Ariel whispers words to cause confusion; Stephano and Caliban think that it is Trinculo who is whispering. Stephano slaps him and sends him away. Ariel tells Prospero about Caliban’s plan and sets up a trap to hang rich clothing on a line in Prospero’s cave.

    When the three drunks see the clothing, Trinculo and Stephano try them on. Caliban tells them to get on with the killing before they wake Prospero; however they ignore Caliban and walk off with the clothes, until they are stopped in their tracks by spirits in the form of hunting dogs. Ariel and Prospero, in invisible forms, urge the dogs to chase the three men away. Prospero then declares that Ariel is doing well and shall soon be free and his plans are coming to their conclusion.

    Prospero forgives everyone, even his brother. He gives Ariel one last order before being set free – to calm the seas for everyone’s return to Italy. “I’ll deliver all, and promise you calm seas, auspicious gales, and sail so expeditious that shall catch your royal fleet far off. My Ariel, chick, that is thy charge. Then to the elements be free, and fare thou well.” – Prospero The play expresses the idea that it was not only Ariel and Caliban who were imprisoned on the island as slaves to Prospero, but Prospero himself and his daughter Miranda who are also imprisoned on the island, as a result of Antonio. Because of Prospero’s powerful impact on the island when he was sent there, Caliban thinks the island should belong to him, because the island previously belonged to his mother Sycorax. “This island’s mine by Sycorax my mother, which thou tak’st from me” – Caliban

    However Prospero thinks differently. Prospero, having had his brother take away his dukedom, then takes the island away from Caliban and enslaved him and Ariel. This showers the island’s representation of colonisation and the colonists in America at the time the play was being written, and also Prospero’s hypocritical behaviour and his want to be in control. Prospero uses his position in power and abuses this power against Caliban to control him, and constantly reminds Caliban of how much he has attempted to help him but he has declined the offer. These powerful speeches from Prospero make Caliban feel inferior. “As I told thee before, I am subject to a tyrant; a sorcerer, that by his cunning hath cheated me of the island” – Caliban In this quote, Caliban is reminding Stephano that he is enslaved by Prospero, by which he calls a ‘tyrant’. He then mentions Prospero stealing the island from him.

    “Thou shalt be lord of it, and I’ll serve thee” – Caliban The quote above shows Caliban promising Stephano King of the island after he has killed Prospero, and then offers to be Stephano’s slave. Caliban’s behaviour here is strange – he is angry about Prospero taking the island away from him; however he then promises the power of the island to someone else, and offers to be enslaved once again. One of the main themes in the play is power, and there are many different types of power throughout the play, which are presented by the characters and the use of language.

    “Hag-seed, hence! Fetch us in fuel; and be quick, thou’rt best” – Prospero “I must obey; his art is of such power” – Caliban These quotes show Prospero’s manipulation and how it works on Caliban. Prospero was banished from Milan with Miranda with the help of the government and their force and overthrow. This is political power and the abuse of that position in government. Antonio continues to act this way on the island, by persuading Sebastian into killing Alonso so that Sebastian can inherit the position of King of Naples. This is similar to what Antonio did to Prospero, hoping that he would die while trying to survive on the island without his magic. This abuse of power is also reflected through Prospero as he tells people what to do and tries to be in control of the whole island and its situations and manipulates things to the way he would prefer.

    When Caliban calls Prospero a tyrant, I mostly agree with this as Prospero is controlling the entire island to his liking. However, he is only doing this to seek revenge on the people who have hurt him. Most or all of the characters on the island seek power. Antonio wanted power and usurped Prospero’s power as Duke of Milan. Sebastian wants power over his brother Alonso as the King of Naples and plotted to murder him. Stephano, Trinculo and Caliban all want power over the island, and they planned to murder Prospero for that power. Stephano can then be king of the island by making Miranda his queen.

    The power of man over women in the Elizabethan times was that men were in control of women in the relationship, and women were expected to obey the man and respect his wishes. The power of prospero over Miranda is father, caring and protecting. He makes sure Miranda obeys him just for the caution of her own safety. He doesn’t want to upset her, so he would often tell her lies for her own good or use magic on her. “Here cease more questions. Thou art inclined to sleep.” – Prospero Prospero puts Miranda to sleep with his magic as the ship holding his enemies approaches the tempest.

    However Ferdinand and Caliban’s power over Miranda are both different. Ferdinand’s power over Miranda is very political in a sense of royalty but is also romantic. He constantly reminds Miranda of his royal position by repeating words such as ‘king’ and ‘crown’. “And crown what I profess with kind event” – Ferdinand This emphasises his power and control as a future king and as a future husband to Miranda. Caliban’s power over Miranda, however, is very much more sexual and physical, as in the play it is mentioned that Caliban has taken advantage of Miranda in the past.

    “thou didst seek to violate the honour of my child” – Prospero She is the only female on the island, and the fact that she is a virgin with a powerful and royal family makes her very craved by men. Magic is of huge importance in the play, and controls it throughout. Both Prospero and Ariel behold the power of magic, but Ariel’s power is a lot stronger than Prospero’s. Prospero’s magic is based on wisdom and learning – as his books are the source of his magic. “And pluck my magic garment from me – so – [his cloak is laid aside] Lie there my art.” – Prospero

    Prospero refers to his magic, cloak and staff as his ‘art’. The structure of the play during the storm is of course created by Ariel’s strong magic. This shows that Ariel is powerful enough to transform natural weather. Another transformation that happens in the play is at the end when Prospero declares he will give up his ‘art’. Magic is also used to control the characters in a number of ways: To confuse them; to control emotion and to also hide secretion. Being a spirit, magic comes natural to Ariel, unlike Prospero and he takes on the role of the protagonist of magic, and this is sometimes intimidating.

    The relationship between Ariel and Prospero is that of a good friend. As well as this Prospero also thinks of Ariel’s enslavement as compensation for when Prospero rescued Ariel from being trapped in the tree by Sycorax when Prospero arrived on the island. “Dost thou forget from what a torment I did free thee?” – Prospero Shakespeare uses many linguistic devices to portray and express the use and abuse of power and to create tension and emotion. His language varies depending on who he is having a conversation with but there are some devices that are consistent. He uses a repetition of certain letters; soft letters such as ‘S’, ‘C’, ‘F’, and ‘L’ to create a peaceful and magical atmosphere.

    “Like winter’s drops from eaves of reeds” – Ariel Harder letters such as ‘T’, ‘N’, and ‘D’ to create a violent and aggressive atmosphere. Additionally, Shakespeare always uses rhythm in all his plays, not unlike poetry. Bursts of alliteration are also often used in Shakespeare’s language. “To-night though shalt have cramps, side-stitches that shall pen thy breath up.

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    Shakespeare’s language Essay (1539 words). (2017, Oct 23). Retrieved from

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