The role of the supernatural in the Tempest

Essay by karohariCollege, UndergraduateA-, March 2014

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Katrina Hapner � PAGE �1� Professor Mendel LITR 313 December 21, 2013

The Role of the Supernatural in "The Tempest"

From the very start of Shakespeare's play, "The Tempest", magic is used to mesmerize the audience. The entire plot of this play is very reliant on the supernatural. Prospero, Ariel, and Caliban all have magical powers. Magic lets these characters, mainly Prospero, manipulate the other characters and make them do their bidding. Magic also maneuvers the plot, relationships, love and themes of the play. Magic is the motivation behind movement and plot development.

Throughout the entire play, magic is use to make a variety of things happen. Magic is the heart of "The Tempest" and controls things in the play. Shakespeare uses magic to create Prospero who seems a divine character. He is the main character and Shakespeare gives him power to interfere in things around him.

Shakespeare wanted a happy ending and in order for this to happen the characters and events must be manipulated through magic. Prospero was the most powerful character due to magic and he led the relationship of Miranda and Ferdinand. Shakespeare's use of magic was felt throughout the island, but also throughout "The Tempest".

The supernatural aspects of "The Tempest" are very different from some of his other plays that involve magic like "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with the fairies, and "Macbeth" with the weird sister witches. The magic in "The Tempest" is more natural, not evil, and less whimsical. Because the magic is so much more natural, it follows the laws of nature in its entirety. Prospero's magic is white in nature and restricted by the nature of the island itself and the people who live there. "...