How is The Tempest a Drama of Enchantment?

Shakespeare's The Tempest is full of supernatural atmosphere. The passage in which he refers most directly to Ovid is Prospero’s renunciation of magic in The Tempest. So, even Shakespeare referred to Ovid’s Metamorphoses to seek some inspiration for his play.

The Tempest as a Drama of Enchantment

The scene is an enchanted island that was first surrounded by fairy-like spirits and later by a witch Sycorax and again more lately by a devil Caliban. But Caliban too was succeeded by Prospero, a magician. The drama begins with a storm and weather faded by trees. Water spirits and elves of the brooks and streams are called upon in Act IV, Scene 1, to “bestow upon the eyes of the young couple some vanity of Prospero’s art.”

Aerial: He is the spirit of air who has a lot of flexibility. His speech is music or waves of air and his ideas are liberty and omnipresence. Initially, Ariel fails to understand human foibles but in the end, displays more compassion than Prospero.

Sycorax: She is a witch banished from Argiers or Algiers and abundant on the island's desolate shores. When she died, Caliban had left the master of the place.

Caliban: He is the opposite of Aerial. He is half monster, a half man who ruled the island. He was overthrown by Prospero, the magician. This half-human Caliban who speaks some of the most touching lines of poetry in the play

The Tempest is unique among Shakespeare's plays in that here is the amalgamation of the supernatural and human world. The whole action depends upon this supernatural working under human direction working for benevolence, unlike Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe.

Updated on: 30-Jul-2019


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started