The Tempest Compared to Paradise Lost
The play, The Tempest, by William Shakespeare and the poem Paradise Lost, by John Milton are similarly written during the same time period of the sixteenth century. Both author’s create characters who have congruent roles, yet still make them different and unique. Not only do the writers use character roles that are related, but they also use coinciding settings, weather situations, and wording. Throughout this essay I will discuss and provide examples to support my theory. In The Tempest, Shakespeare creates the character Prospero to resemble certain qualities that God has.
The author grants Prospero with special powers that allows him to control over things. For example, part of Prospero’s magical powers is to be able to watch over the relationship between Ferdinand and Miranda. He watches the couple very closely because he wants his daughter to keep her virginity until she is married. This is a deed that is nearly impossible to be fulfilled because they are stranded on an deserted island. For instance, in Act 3, Scene 1, Ferdinand and Miranda sneak away behind Prospero’s back and think that they are finally alone.
However, Prospero is using his powers and is watching every move that they make. Prospero demands Miranda to stay away from Ferdinand because Prospero has little knowledge about his background and his personality. In order to get to know Ferdinand, Prospero makes him a slave in the beginning of Act 3, Scene 1 where “Ferdinand enters, bearing a log. ” (T. T 3,1: 1) Throughout the play, Prospero makes it as if he does not want his daughter to be with Ferdinand. On the other hand, it was just an act that he way playing to test their love for each other.
After getting to know Ferdinand, Prospero allows him to date his daughter. God does the same in Paradise Lost, when he introduces Adam and Eve to each other while informing them that they will be mates. There response was as stated: “To give thee being I lent Out of my side to thee, nearest my heart, substantial life to have thee by my side Henceforth an individual solace dear. Part of my soul I seek thee and thee claim My other half. “With that thy gentle hand Seized mine, I yielded, and from that time see How beauty is excelled by manly grace And wisdom which alone is truly fair. (P. L. IV 484-491) However, like God gives Adam and Eve rules to follow while in the Garden of Eden, Prospero does the same towards Ferdinand and Miranda. God demands Adam and Eve that they are not allowed to eat an apple from the Forbidden tree. Meanwhile, Prospero requests that Ferdinand and Miranda’s do not have sex until they are legally married, which can not happen until they return back home to Italy. This is a very hard rule to follow because there passion and desire is so powerful for each other. This is proven when Miranda is crying to Ferdinand and states: At mine unworthisness, that dare not offer What I desire to give, and much less take What I shall die to want. But this is trifling, And all the more it seeks to hide itself The bigger bulk it shows. Hence, bashful cunning, And prompt me, plain and holy innocence! I am your wife, if you will marry me; If not, I’ll die yourmaid, To be your fellow You may deny me, but I ‘ll be your servant Whether you will or no. ” (Act III, II 78-85) Shakespeare and Milton relate there couples, Ferdinand and Miranda and Adam and Eve when it comes to the setting of the stories.
For example, Ferdinand and Miranda are stranded on an abandoned island because of a rough storm that destroyed their boat. On the island they have desire and lust for each other. Adam and Eve are placed in the Garden of Eden where they also have the same feelings for each other while in the Garden. Both authors use storms to symbolize major events in their works. For instance, the audience is introduced to The Tempest, during the middle of a violent storm where a Boatswain is shouting: “Heigh, my hearts! Cheerly, cheerly, my hearts! Yare, yare! Take in the topsail.
Tend to the Master’s whistle. — Blow till thou burst thy wind, if room enough! ” (T. T. I I 5-7) The storm is caused by Prospero and Ariel, who is the spirit of the island. The powerful and destructive storm destroyed the ship and left the passengers stranded on a desolate island. In Act 2, Scene 2, Caliban also causes a storm against Prospero because he realizes that he is up to trouble. In Paradise Lost, Milton uses a thunderstorm to refer to the fight that Satan and God are going to have. Milton states, “From what heighth fall’n, so muich the stronger proved.
He with His thunder ( and till then who knew The force of those dire arms? )” (P. L. I 92-94) There are a number of roles that Caliban is similar to in Paradise Lost. This is due to the fact that Caliban has such a major role in The Tempest. Caliban could be referred to as Satan because he plots to destroy Prospero and to take over his position by killing him. Caliban can also relate to Beezlebub because he plans to follow Stephano’s plans of overruling Prospero. Meanwhile Beezelebub is Satan’s assistant and his “right hand man,” which Caliban is now to Stephano.
Beezlebub is introduced in Paradise Lost, as stated, “There the companions of his fall o erwhelmed with flood and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire He soon discerns. And welt’ring by his side One next himself in pow’r and next in crime, Long after known in Palestine and named Beezlebub. ”(P. L. I 76-81) Beezlebub thinks the best remedy is to seduce men into following Satan. This is the same remedy that Stephano uses towards Caliban, which is by making him drink the wine and becomes highly intoxicated. Shakespeare makes it unclear to us whether Caliban is human or some type of animal.
However, in Paradise Lost, Milton introduces us to Sin, who is Satan’s daughter that was born from his head. Milton makes it clear to his audience that Sin is part human and part animal. This is very much alike to Caliban. The time that both The Tempest and Paradise Lost were written may be a reason why the author’s have such similar characters. However, Due to The Tempest being written first, Milton may have been the one to follow Shakespeare’s guidelines. Each character is unique and different, which creates an interesting story for the audience.