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The Tempest: Review

Uploaded by Admin on Jan 22, 1999

Why is it that people fawn Shakespeare and have unreasonably high regard for his works, including The Tempest, and label them as "immortal classics"? Indeed Shakespeare's works had great significance in the evolution of English literature, but these works, including The Tempest are mostly devoid of significance and literary value in the present day. One can expect to gain little educational benefit of the english language or hightened apreciation for fine literature from the reading of Shakespeare's titles for reasons enumerate. First of all, the colorful and sophisticated metephoric vernacular style of the language utilized is archaic; even the speech of intellectually refined individuals and other respected literary works do not imploy of this rich style of speech. The poemic composition of The Tempest does not increase one's ability to apreciate distinguished literature because the refined and respected works of most other classical writers are in novel form and thus differ highly from Shakesperian works in the literary devices and mannerisms from which they are comprised. The Tempest was written in early seventeeth century England. At this period of history and country the English language was quite different from what it is today in many ways. First, standard, formal vocabulary was different at this time. An great expample is found in the line " bawling, blasphemous, incharitable dog!" (act 1 sc. 1, p. 9). In this line, the word incharitable is the modern equivalent of the word uncharitable. The standard dictionary word has changed prefixes somewhere througout the centuries. Another thing that would have made a further gap between the vernacular in the play and modern English is Shakespeare's deployment of common language, or slang (although I have no proof because I don't speak sixteenth century slang). "A pox o' your throught..." (act 1 sc.1, p. 9) and "...give o'er..." (act 1 sc. 1, p. 9). These phrases seem to be slang therms because they are so deviant from there modern english equvalents, "curses on" and "give up", respectiveley. What value does learning the archaic vernacular give to the reader. Surely it does not increase thier word power or sophisticate thier vocabulary, for nowhere, not even in among people of high intellecutal refinement such as venerable college professers, is this dead language used. Another distinctive trait of the vernacular used in The Tempest is the heavy use of metaphor. This use of metaphor is so heavy and outlandish that it...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   01/22/1999

Category:   Shakespeare

Length:   5 pages (1,064 words)

Views:   1580

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