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Shakespeare paper 3 - Consider the role of magic and/or...

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Consider the role of magic and/or supernatural occurrences in many of the plays that we have read this semester. At the conclusion of The Tempest, Prospero breaks his wand, gives up his magical powers, and then asks the audience to pardon him and set him free. Why? Compare magic in The Tempestwith supernatural events in two other plays that we have studied this semester (including at least one play that you did not write about in your previous papers).What is the significance of supernatural powers in Shakespeare’s plays? When does it serve benevolent aims and when is, sinister? Explain the significance of your comparisons across these plays.Cory Finney810-81-7114Final Paper Due April 28, 2011Magic and supernatural occurrences appear to be recurring themes in Shakespeare’s plays. Shakespeare ensures that he sprinkles his plays with both good and bad magic to illustrate it’s various uses and demonstrate both sides of the magical world. Three plays in which his use of magic is most prominent are The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Othello. Much of the magic in these plays is represented by symbolism, but other times, such as in The Tempestthe magic is straightforward. During Shakespeare’s time magic and superstition were things that many people believed in, which most likely led to further allure the audience into these stories.The main use of magic in The Tempestcomes from the character Prospero. Prospero is a magician as well as the former Duke of Milan. After being banished to an island he sets out on a course to use his magic to regain his position. Seeming how he is the rightful holder of the throne in Milan, we are led to believe that Prospero’s use of magic is the good, white, kind of magic. He uses his powers to punish the evil charactersin the play, while also reconciling those who have been wronged. Prospero’s wand and robe are the main symbolisms of his supernatural powers. At the end of the play Prospero realizes that he cannot rightfully hold his position in society, unless he himself
gives up his magical powers. It is at this point where he asks the audience to forgive him in hopes that they will understand that he intended to use his powers only for the ultimate

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Term
Spring
Professor
LUNA
Tags
Shakespeare, The Tempest, Othello, Supernatural, Midsummer Night

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