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The Tempest - Bringing it all together

Uploaded by Admin on Jan 22, 1999

The Epilogue of the Tempest by William Shakespeare is an excellent-if not the best-example of Shakespeare's brilliance. In 20 lines Shakespeare is able to write an excellent ending to his play, while speaking through his characters about Shakespeare's own life and career. Even more amazingly, he seemlessly ties the two together. In the context of the story Prospero's monologue makes perfect sense. He has lost his magical power, so his "charms are o'erthrown, and what strength [Prospero] have's [his] own, which is most faint." He is now "confined" on the Island, for his other choice would be to go to Naples and reclaim his dukedom, but he doesn't want to do that because he has already "pardoned the deceiver" who took his position many years ago. Prospero then says something a little strange, but it makes sense in the context of the story, he ask us to "release [him] from [his] bands with the help of your good hands." In other words, clap so that the sails of the boats his friends are riding in will be safely returned and Prospero can be "relieved by prayer" of the audience. All of what Prospero has said is very nice cute, but the most interesting part of this monologue is what Shakespeare himself is saying. "Now that my charms are all o'erthrown, and what strength I have's mine own" means, now my plays are over, and it's no longer my characters speaking. The "Island" or stage Shakespeare is on is now "bare" and it is time for "you" the audience to release Shakespeare and his actors from this play with the "help of [y]our good hands." Shakespeare was not only being released for the performance of the play, he was being release from his career as a playwright. But there are more reasons to clap besides the obvious reason that the play is over, Shakespeare could not allow his final play to be bad, his project "was to please." He reiterates this point by saying "and my ending is despair unless I be relieved by prayer", or the clapping of the audience and it frees "all faults" and allows Shakespeare to indulge the clapping and joy of the audience. Finally, after we seperate the two different perspectives, we can step back and see how Shakespeare magically works them together. The first such pun is on the word "faint", in the third line. Prospero uses faint...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   01/22/1999

Category:   Shakespeare

Length:   2 pages (545 words)

Views:   1305

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