The Tempest Comparative Essay

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Throughout history, many societies needed to classify people in societal groups; it was crucial to establish a “norm”, in other words. For some people, though, where they supposedly belong was not satisfying at all. Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales and William Shakespeare’s The Tempest both examine how individuals wonder and reassign themselves a “worthier” position. Do they consider their actual position fair? Would they change it? What does it requires? Each author respond those questions while exposing how people work hard for their “prestige”.
In The Tempest, the monarchy represents the upper class. There’s Prospero, a wizard and former Duke of Milan. His brother Antonio, with aid from Alonso, king of Naples, overthrew him. He
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Their main story throughout the play, with Caliban’s help, is to kill Prospero. Both perform the role of comic relief, by being often drunk; while Caliban efforts to enact the plan, it terminates being fruitless. In act IV, scene one, the three get into the castle to steal Prospero’s magic textbooks, but Trinculo and Stephano waste their time wearing Prospero’s royal attire. They believe that wearing expensive clothing is the key for upward mobility. Given their ignorance about politics and lack of strategization, they have slim chances of succeeding. Lauren Arnold, on her thesis, Rule in The Tempest: The Political Teachings of Shakespeare’s Last Play, analyzes the socio-political undertones of the play.“[Since] Stephano, Trinculo and Caliban are such men of nature that they not know of law, Prospero can easily and effectively use force to bring them under his control” (25). Again, through wizardry and rhetoric, his broad knowledge gives him absolute advantage as a ruler and oppressor of the island. Furthermore, the lower class might plan to overthrow him, but with the vain intention of being powerful, rather than improving the living conditions of the island’s residents. Shakespeare criticizes that social group by pointing out their ignorance, the product of the political and socioeconomic gap between the lower class and the upper
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