Essay, Research Paper
The enchanted, isolated island in Shakespeare’s romance The Tempest provides mystery to the community of habitants of the island. The island throughout the play adds mystery to the lives of Miranda, and the people of Naples. Through Miranda lack of knowledge of the real world and the magical inspiration of Prospero, both Miranda and those of Naples find mysterious aspects in this island which they are on.
Prospero living on the island for twelve years with his daughter, Miranda, and two servants Ariel and Caliban, has master the art of magic. Living on the deserted island gives Prospero nothing but time in which he uses to the best of his ability, in doing so he is able to add mystery to lives of King of Naples, Alonso, and others. Prospero power is demonstrate through the tempest he creates to bring Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio, Gonzalo, and Ferdinand to this island which he resides. It becomes apparent that Prospero is in charge of this great storm when Miranda, his daughter, states “If by your art, my dearest father, you have/ Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them.” (I, ii, l 1-2). Although unsure of whether the tempest is actually an act of Prospero, Miranda knowing only what her father is capable of naturally assumes that the storm is his doing. By being on the island for most of her life Prospero is all that is known to her, because, of this she is curious of why he wishes to bring harm to others. The mysteriousness of what is this island stand for becomes alive for Miranda as her love for Ferdinand grows. All of her life the island has brought her nothing but loneness, however, now as she has learned all that there is to know the island has brought her a gentleman whom at first sight is thought to be “A spirit?/ Lord, how it looks about! Believes me, sir,/ It carries a brave form. But tis a spirit.” (I, ii, l 414-416). Knowing no better Miranda looks at this foreign figure before her as being a spirit. For in her mind he could simple be a gift from this island which she has spent twelve years. The island indirectly add mystery to Miranda in what life outside of the island would be like. In talking to Ferdinand he speaks of this world outside of the Island which is foreign to Miranda and in speaking of other woman Miranda with a sense of curiosity says
” I do not know/ One of my sex; no woman’s face remember,/ Save, from my glass, mine own; nor have I seen/ More that I may call men than you, good friend,/ And my dear father; how features are abroad,/ I am skilless of; but, my modesty,/ The jewel in my dower, I would not wish/ Any companion in the world but you;/ Nor can imagination form a shape,/ Besides yourself, to like of. But I prattle/ Something too wildly, and my father’s precepts/ I therein do forget.”(III, I, l48-59).
In spending most of her life on such an enchanted island Miranda knowing nothing of the real world continues to view the island as a mystery as new events come forth in her life.
Having landed on what appears to be a deserted island Alonso, Antonio, Sebastian, and Gonzalo are extremely conscience of what is happening while they are on the island. While attempting to console Alonso about the misfortune of his son not having landed on the island with them brings it to the others attention of how mysterious it is that they all have survived such a trepid storm, saying “Beseech you, Sir, be merry; you have cause,/ So have we all of joy; for our escape.”(II, I, l 1-2). Having Gonzalo already bring it their attention that something suspicious is going on, on this enchanted isolated island Antonio and Sebastian become extremely conscience after Gonzalo and Alonso together become drowsy. In speaking with Antonio Sebastian remarks “What a strange drowsiness posses them!” (II, I, l 194). This mystery becomes intense as the plays continues and Ariel having placed Alonso and Gonzalo in a state of drowsiness although invisible begins to talk to them. Saving Alonso’s life through singing into sleeping Gonzalo’s ear “While you here do snore lie,/ Open-ey’d conspiracy/His time doth take./ If of life you keep a care,/ Shake off slumber, and beware;/Awake, awake!” (II, ii, l 295-300). This is bewildering to Antonio and Sebastian how just as they prepared to destroy the soul of the King of Naples and take over, Gonzalo awakens speaking of hearing a voice. The mysteriousness of the island continues as their search for Ferdinand whom is off under a love smell of Ariel and Prospero. In approaching Ariel Gonzalo, knowing not what to expect of this native of the island questions his sanity saying
“If in Naples/ I should report this now, would they believe me?/ If I should say, I saw such islanders-/ For, certes, these are people of the island-/ Who, though they are of monstrous shape, yet, note,. Their manners are more gentle, kind, than of/ Our human generation you shall find/ Many, nay, almost any.(III, iii, l 32-38).
As they continue to strive about this isolated enchanted island although what they are seeing and hearing items which are real it seems to be unreal to them. As if they are dreaming and together they will awaken back in Naples. Although knowing what they are experiencing is true each of their steps seem to be a mystery to them wondering what t is that they should aspect to view or hear. As they see and hear the words and actions of the invisible Ariel as she follows the command to Prospero.
Together Ariel and Prospero through the sheltering of Miranda and the magical events performed on Alonso, Gonzalo, and others add a sense of mystery to the island. Miranda’s naiveness and lack of knowledge of the world outside of her island adds mystery to her lives once she encounters someone whom is not from the island, Ferdinand. The others having been brought aboard this island find mystery in the words spoken in the air, the dangerous events through which they remain safe.