, Research Paper
The title is one of the most important things in literature. The title is the gravy for the mashed potatoes. With out a title, a story is like tits on a bull, meaningless! Furthermore, with out a title how the hell are you going to find the freakin book in the library. The meaning of the title usually is interwoven throughout the story and is often times hard to understand. The title of a story is not always apparent and need some interpreting from the reader. In the plays The Tempest by William Shakespeare and The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, the titles are easy to understand where they come from if you look at them very superficially. However, there is more that meets the eye, there is a lot of hidden meaning in each of these titles.
In William Shakespeare?s The Tempest the meaning of the title is very blatant and easy to understand, well that is just one of the meanings of the title. In fact there are a few meaning that are hidden throughout the play. The play mostly takes place on the island that Prospero lives on and had lived on for the past twelve years. Prospero was the duke of Milan but his brother Antonio kicked him out. Antonio thought that his brother has been dead all this time and meanwhile Prospero has been waiting for a chance to get revenge. It just so happens that a ship containing Antonio and some of his conspirators went near Prospero’s island. Prospero also knew magic and had a spirit friend named Ariel, together they made sure to get the people on the boat on their island. Prospero used his magic to make a mysterious tempest that would eventually shipwreck the people aboard the boat also splitting up Ferdinand from his father Alonso. Alonso is the king of Naples and he also conspired with Antonio to get rid of Prospero. This was a way of revenge on Alonso from Prospero because he then thought his son was dead. The title of this play is most likely derived from this opening storm. However there are other reasons for the title, not from the obvious storm in the beginning. The title The Tempest is significant in many other ways. For instance, the lives of the people on the island seem to be in a ?tempest? because everyone is confused and some how involved with everyone else. Shakespeare creates sort of a ?tempest? for the reader by putting them in a state of confusion. Shakespeare does this by throwing out many names to the reader and these manes are similar in some means. For instance, Alonso and Antonio are very similar names. Shakespeare also seems to give you so many names in a short amount of time it puts the reader in a state of confusion and puts them in their own little ?tempest?. Also Shakespeare?s The Tempest is a unique play because it lasts in about a days time. It is one of the shortest plays, not the time in which it takes to preform but the amount of time that passed during the play. The shortness of this play represents the shortness of a storm or tempest. With a little interpretation the title The Tempest has more meaning than one would think.
The Glass Menagerie written by Tennessee Williams is another play in which there is some hidden meaning to the title and the reader finds out the purpose of the title as the play unravels before them. The play is in the perspective of Tom Windfield, he works in a factory and lives with his sister and mother. His father left a long time ago and Tom sometimes wished he could be like his father and break out of his every day life. Amanda is constantly thinking of people her daughter could marry and is obsessed with her illness. The Glass Menagerie is Laura Windfield?s collection of glass figurines, she loves these figures and is much like them. Laura is crippled with sclerosis and is very fragile just like her collection of glass figurines. The reader knows some significance of the title when reading in the beginning because of Laura’s glass collection. In a way the title is a symbol for the fragility of Laura. Laura likes her figurine of the Unicorn the most. This can somewhat resemble her relationship with her father, The Unicorn is a fictitious animal that does not exist and is very mysterious. Just as her father is to her, this is why she likes the unicorn the most. When Tom is told to find someone from work to meet Laura he picks his friend Jim. Jim and Laura used to be in chorus class together back in high school and sort of liked each other. Jim came over for dinner and met Laura, Unfortunately due to her debility she could not sit at the table the whole time. Jim was in the room visiting Laura when he accidentally knocked over her precious glass unicorn and broke its horn off. This was the point in which the reader sees how much alike Laura is to he glass menagerie. The unicorn with a broken horn is a symbol for Laura’s life going down the drain, because after the horn broke off Jim told her the truth that he was still engaged. The play was titled The Glass Menagerie because of Laura?s glass menagerie and how she was in a way one herself.
In literature the meaning titles are not always so easy to find. In some cases the title of a piece is the most artistic part of the entire work. Titles are used in almost every form of literature and also in most all other art forms. The titles are important because they make people remember the piece. When reading a work of literature it is usually a good experience when the reader finds out the point of the title.