Use of Contrasts in Act I of The Tempest

The Tempest is a play written by William Shakespeare. The play is set on an island and tells the story of Prospero, a magician who has been exiled to the island by his brother. The play uses a number of contrasts to help tell the story.

One contrast that is used in the play is between magic and reality. Prospero is a skilled magician, and he uses his magic to control the characters in the play. However, at the same time, he also recognizes that there is a difference between magic and reality, and he often uses this contrast to his advantage.

For example, early in the play, he uses his magic to make Ferdinand fall in love with Miranda. However, he also understands that Ferdinand would never really love Miranda, and he uses this knowledge to get Ferdinand to agree to marry her.

Another contrast that is used in the play is between order and chaos. Prospero tries to maintain a sense of order on the island, but he often faces challenges from the other characters, who prefer chaos. This contrast is most evident in the second half of Act I, when Caliban and Stephano try to take over the island.

However, even earlier in the play, there are hints of it, such as when Trinculo and Caliban are talking about what they would do if they were king. Trinculo says that he would “hang up…the rascal by the heels” (1.2.368-369), while Caliban says that he would “give them all to the fishes” (1.2.363). These are just a few of the contrasts that are used in The Tempest. Overall, they help to create a rich and complex story.

When William Shakespeare penned his plays, he employed a variety of writing techniques. The Tempest uses contrasts between characters, settings, and ideas to develop the tale as well as the messages that Shakespeare intended to convey by the play. One fantastic example is how some protagonists had parallel counterparts in the first act. 

Ariel had Caliban, and Gonzalo had Ferdinand. The relationship between Ariel and Caliban could clearly be seen throughout Act I, scene II. Ariel was the “airy spirit” that could assume different shapes, such as the lightning flames seen on the ship (Shakespeare 31), and who had quickness, lightness, grace, and total control over his actions.

Caliban, on the other hand, was a slave to Prospero, and was often mistreated. The dialogue between Ariel and Caliban showed how one was free, and the other was not. The setting of the play also contrasted greatly in Act I. The first act took place on an island, which was mysterious and dark because of the storm.

The second act took place in Prospero’s cell, which was warm and brightly lit. The cell showed how Prospero had all the power in the world, while the island showed how nature could be powerful and uncontrollable. Contrasts between characters, setting, and ideas helped to develop The Tempest into a well-rounded play with a clear message.

In reality, Caliban may have been anti-Ariel, being slow, stupid, and lethargic. Ferdinand and Gonzalo were also contrasted in this scene. In Act I, scene I lines 28-33, Gonzalo ridiculed the boatswain by stating that he didn’t appear to be the type to drown; instead he appeared more like the type to swim. The boatswain responded that he could do both.

Contrastingly, in Act I, scene II lines 1-5, Ferdinand expressed his concerns about the storm and how it would affect the ship. This showed that he was a more pessimistic person. The use of contrasts in The Tempest helped to provide readers with a deeper understanding of the characters involved in the play.

Ferdinand’s usual mood was gloomy and unhappy, which made him the worst of our three rulers. On the other hand, Ferdinand grew concerned for his father after landing on the island in Act I, scene ii. He went so far as to claim he had been elected king of Naples (Shakespeare 45). As a result, one can establish a character profile of the four individuals based on their differences with Ariel – Caliban and Gonzalo – Ferdinand.

Throughout The Tempest, Shakespeare uses a variety of contrasts to help develop the characters and advance the plot. In Act I, scene ii, for example, he contrasts Ariel and Caliban, and Gonzalo and Ferdinand. Ariel is a spirit who was brought to the island by Prospero, and Caliban is a monster who was born on the island. Gonzalo is a councillor who follows Prospero’s orders, and Ferdinand is the son of Alonso who is worried about his father.

One of the most notable contrasts in Act I is between Ariel and Caliban. Ariel is kind and helpful, while Caliban is uncooperative and mean. This contrast helps to show how different the two characters are. It also highlights Ariel’s good qualities, which helps the audience to like him more.

Another contrast in Act I is between Gonzalo and Ferdinand. Gonzalo is optimistic, while Ferdinand is worried. This contrast helps to show the different ways that people react to difficult situations. Gonzalo is able to stay positive, while Ferdinand is not. This difference is important because it sets up a conflict later in the play.

Shakespeare uses these and other contrasts throughout The Tempest to help develop the characters and advance the plot. By doing so, he provides the audience with a more in-depth understanding of the story and its characters.

The settings also exhibited a great deal of contrast in Act I. The ship was buffeted by furious winds and widespread mayhem when it arrived at the storm’s site. This pandemonium disturbed Shakespeare’s Social Order, which was already unstable. The boatswain, not the King, was giving orders to the passengers, while the King and his son were praying below deck. As a result, the entire social order was turned upside down 

The play was to be set in the Azores, however when the ship arrived on the island, it underwent a change in setting from the frightening storm to the joy of being on an island. In turn, Prospero and his commoners Ariel and Caliban restored social order by bringing back The Social Order. This contrast may be used to create a mood.

Another contrast between the settings was present when different characters were introduced. The savage Caliban was first shown to be in a dark cave, and then Prospero and his followers were seen in the bright light of the sun. This helped emphasize their differences. The last example of setting contrast was when Ferdinand and Miranda were introduced. The two characters were standing in the middle of a beautiful meadow, surrounded by flowers and green trees. The use of these contrasts created an interesting atmosphere for the play.

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