Tempest A Look At Reality

And Magic Essay, Research Paper

Gonzalo states: “We are people of our own minds and no one else s,” by this Gonzalo is telling everyone that no one can control what someone sees or does. This is true unless one is using magic to alter the minds and reality of anyone under the influence of magic. In the Tempest, by William Shakespeare, Prospero uses magic to alter the reality and delude the minds of characters. Love or guilt is a form of magic that naturally occurs in one s life. Prospero creates another magic that is placed in the audience s mind when he asks them to become the master magicians.

Alonso and Gonzalo s minds are deluded by Prospero s spells to make them unaware of what is happening around them or aware of something out of the ordinary, and Caliban is affected by Prospero s spells physically. Gonzalo sees the things happening around him through a new prespective because of the spell that makes him see everything in a good light. Because of this spell Gonzalo states that their clothes are better than new, and that they are not stained with salt water. Gonzalo also brings up that the island is in excellent shape and is adequate for living on. Antonio and Sebastian tell Gonzalo he is lying about the clothes and the island being in such fantastic shape. They tell him this because they are not affected by the spell that Gonzalo is under. Spells don t always affect a person directly, but it still makes a person see their reality in a different perspective. Alonso is fooled by Prospero s magic too, but it is not directly aimed towards Alonso. Because of the magic that put Ferdinand in a glen where no one could see him; Alonso thinks that Ferdinand drowned at sea. Alonso thinks that Ferdinand is dead because no one saw Ferdinand make it to land safe. This is because Prospero used magic directly on Ferdinand, but not directly on Alonso. Alonso is in a bad mood because of this indirect magic for an entire act because Alonso s crew couldn t find Ferdinand. Meanwhile Ferdinand is following strange music that is leading him away from the others. Prospero has Ferdinand walk away from the others so he meets Miranda, and also so Alonso s crew can t find Ferdinand. This shows some of the powers of indirect magic, but direct magic can be more effective when trying to accomplish something very quickly; such as punishment or trying to teach somebody a lesson. Prospero casts spells on Caliban to punish him for cursing and disobeying Prospero s authority. Caliban is put to work doing a back breaking job, and all that Caliban does is try to curse at Prospero. Prospero casts a spell to make Caliban s body fill with cramps and pinches all over. Direct magic doesn t always work in one try, so a person may attempt to do something again. Caliban, Trinculo, and Stephano try to kill Prospero, but Prospero casts spells on them to fill their bodies with cramps and pinches. Prospero does this for two reasons. One is to keep from getting killed and, two is to punish them. Because of this, Caliban repents toward the end of the play. The spells are physically applied, but they also have a mental affect.

Natural magic is about to take place, i.e., falling in love and/or feeling guilty for one s actions. This is a natural occurrence in one s life and is part of reality. Miranda falls in love with Ferdinand when they first meet. Miranda tells Prospero about the fine looking creature. She may be saying this because she has never seen a man; nevertheless, she is in love. Prospero plans for this to happen; because Prospero is planning for this to happen, he has to make Ferdinand prove that he is worthy of Miranda.

Ferdinand doesn t know Miranda, but wishes he could get to know her. They gaze deeply into each others eyes, and instantly they feel a passion burning that can not be hidden. Prospero expects this to happen, but he doesn t cast any spells. Ferdinand does physical labor to prove that he is in love with Miranda. This shows the power of love; love can make people do a lot of strange things, so can guilt. When one feels guilty he/she feels as if they have treated somebody very badly and the should try to change the way people look at them. Prospero takes his magic away for good when he feels guilty for Alonso s crew. Ariel asks about Prospero s feelings for the things that he did to the crew. When Prospero says nothing, Ariel tells Prospero that he, himself, would feel if he could, but because Ariel is made nothing but flesh and bones with no soul, he has no idea how it feels to treat people bad. Ariel can see how Alonso s crew feels, but Ariel has no concept of feelings so he can t tell Prospero that it is wrong to do what Prospero is doing to Alonso s crew. This makes Prospero feel very bad for the way he treated Alonso s crew and he decides to come out and show them who he is. Prospero turns all of his magic “off” and tells Alonso s crew who he is. Prospero does this because he feels bad for the way he treated Alonso s crew. This is all magical because of the whole “natural magic” concept. It is something that naturally happens in life and can not be avoided.

Prospero tells the audience that they are the magic of the Tempest, and they have made all of the magic work. Prospero says nothing about using magic to alter reality, but the audience knows how he has used magic to alter reality. Prospero tells the audience that they have to cast a spell because he is no longer using magic for good or evil purposes. Prospero has stepped into his own reality and is taking responsibility for his actions by giving up his magic. Prospero, then, tells the audience that they have the power to send him home or let him stay on the island. The audience now realizes that he has no power to do anything about their decision of what happens to him, but they now know that Prospero has given them the power to use the magic. Prospero asks the audience to take over his role as a magician. Prospero tells the audience: “Dwell in this bare island by your spell.” (Act V, Epilogue, ll. 6-7) Prospero is telling the audience that they are the ones responsible for what happens to him. Prospero adds on, “But release me from my bands with the help of your good hands. Gentle breath of yours my sails must fill , or else my project fails.” (Act V, Epilogue, ll. 9-12) Prospero puts his fate in the audience s hands, and they are to decide what happens to him based on what has happened in the play. Prospero tells the audience that they must applaud and pray for him to be set free. Now that Prospero has told the audience about the spell and them being the new master magicians, he must now tell the audience to make him real in their minds. “Unless I be relieved by prayer, which pierces so that it assaults mercy itself and frees all faults.” (Act V, Epilogue, ll. 16-18) Prospero tells the audience that they are making him real in their minds now and are becoming part of the play. Now the audience has total control to send Prospero back to Naples or keep him on the island. Prospero tells the audience all of this to make them see the world through his eyes. Without telling the audience these final words they would have never thought about making Prospero real in their minds. When they make Prospero real in their minds, they can live the life of Prospero on the island or in Naples. It is up to the audience where he is to go and what life he lives, this is the magic of the play.

Magic can alter the reality and perspective how one looks at life. In the Tempest, Prospero has the ability to cast spells that alter one s perspective of reality. One may say that reality is intangible, but one can grasp the concept of what is stands for. Magic can throw that concept away. If one sees magic in progress it will alter the true vision of reality. Whenever magic verses reality a group can not describe what the feel or see. The concept of magic and reality is different to everyone. Reality or magic, they re both what one makes them to be.


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