It is true that Antonio seized power from his older brother, Prospero, and that this usurpation is viewed as wrong by the dominant values of the time and by the text.
A traditional reading of The Tempest would position Prospero as the victim of unjust betrayal, who stranded on an island with his beautiful, virtuous daughter, uses his magical powers to right the wrong done to him.
In many ways the play acts out the treatment of indigenous people by Europeans. In the end what is valued in the text is that order is restored, the rightful ruler regains his social position and through this the play supports the politically conservative ideology of the time.
This ideology was decidedly conservative and used politically as a means of social control: This can be seen as a highly effective means of keeping order and perpetuating the power structures already existing in society. Alonso is the rightful King of Naples and in this position the text sidesteps this issue of his treachery, though it does show that he is remorseful and acknowledges his wrong-doing, but again this only hapens when he is placed in a different, threatening situation.
The audience of the time and later leaves the playhouse seeing all challenges to this ideology as manifestly wrong and all rebellious attitudes are associated with treachery and evil.
A post-colonial reading, which foregrounds issues of race and power inequalities, would give quite a different interpretation. In this way any disruption to order is seen as evil and those who dare question it need to be punished, thus perpetuating the social values of the time. The play contains rebellions, political treachery, mutinies and conspiracies.
Any rebellion, personal or collective, was therefore seen as an act of defiance not only against the State but God. There are many challenges to authority, however, the text resolves these problems in the end by having peace, harmony and order restored, with the rightful ruler placed back in his position of power.
This viewpoint is constructed by presenting Antonio as a treacherous, evil character who is willing to murder Alonso and Gonzalo. The King was King as he had been given a mandate by God, and all positions below this were based on a rigid social hierarchy, which were also dictated by birth.
The values system of Caliban is silenced and simply seen as barbaric. This is the view foregrounded by the play, but little is mentioned about why this state of affairs arose.The Tempest by William Shakespeare develops the notions of power, control, authority and moral order through the representation of imaginative journeys.
Responders must suspend their disbeliefs in order to proceed on this speculative journey. The Social Order in The Tempest In Shakespeare's time, the social order was as powerful and rigid as law. Shakespeare provides an example of this social structure in his play, The Tempest.
Essay on Social Order in The Tempest - The Social Order in The Tempest In Shakespeare's time, the social order was as powerful and rigid as law. Shakespeare provides an example of this social structure in his play, The Tempest.
Tempest Resources Please see the main Tempest page for the complete play with explanatory notes and study questions. Examination Questions and Answers on The Tempest Themes in The Tempest: Reality, Thought, Imagination Forgiveness and Reconciliation in The Tempest The Tempest and A Midsummer Night's Dream Magic, Books, and the Supernatural in The Tempest The Tempest: A Marriage Play?
The Tempest can be seen as a literary vehicle that maintains the status quo and used as a means of social control.
The audience of the time (and later) leaves the playhouse seeing all challenges to this ideology as manifestly wrong and all rebellious attitudes are associated with treachery and evil.
Essay on Social Order in The Tempest The Social Order in The Tempest In Shakespeare's time, the social order was as powerful and rigid as law. Shakespeare provides an example of this social structure in his play, The Tempest.Download