Themes and symbols in the Tempest

Megan Jones
Mind Map by Megan Jones, updated more than 1 year ago
Megan Jones
Created by Megan Jones almost 6 years ago


A Levels English Literature (The Tempest) Mind Map on Themes and symbols in the Tempest, created by Megan Jones on 03/24/2014.

Resource summary

Themes and symbols in the Tempest
1 Illusion of justice.
1.1 Prospero claims to have been treated in an unjust way when he was usurped from the throne in Milan
1.1.1 Although his treatment of other characters is hypocritical as he works to right the wrongs that have been done to him without any concern for how he is treating others.
2 Men v Monsters
2.1 The other characters refer to Caliban as a monster, "got by the devil himself"
2.1.1 But at parts of the play, Caliban speaks so eloquently, "the isle is full of noises", showing the audience that he does have emotions and is often more human than characters such as Prospero.
2.2 Caliban is in fact the native of the island, and it is the humans who are monstrous as they are often obsessed with money and power, while Caliban appreciates the island and nature.
3 The allure of ruling an island
3.1 The setting of the island gives a sense of infinite possibility to all the characters.
3.1.1 Prospero basically wants to own the island/be ruler again. Caliban claims that the island is his. Gonzalo imagines what he would do if the isle was his. Stephano imagines his rein if he was to kill Prospero.
4 Masters and servants
4.1 Almost all the scenes in the play portray two figures: one of authority and power and a figure who is subject to that power.
4.1.1 The play explores these relationships. Prospero and Caliban have generally negative one, while Prospero and Ariel have a positive relationship.
4.1.2 In the first scene, we see a switch in authority as the boatswain is dismissive of the royals as they threaten the seriousness of the shipwreck.
5 Water and drowning
5.1 The play opens with a scene in water: The Tempest
5.1.1 It is as if the tempest at the beginning runs through the language and action of the play. Alonso wishes to drown himself and at the end Prospero says he's going to drown his book. The water is a symbol for the sacrifices each man has to make.
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