Essay: Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and the Tempest

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  • Subject area(s): English literature essays
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  • Published on: July 15, 2019
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  • Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and the Tempest
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Shakespeare’s work has always been one to influence and touch people around the world for years. The themes behind each of his writings are known for their deep meanings and applicability to a persons life. For instance, Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest both have themes and messages within them that are meaningful. The story Romeo and Juliet has themes connected to the forcefulness of love, family conflict, and free will. There is a long feud between the Montague and Capulet families, which ends up disrupting the city of Verona and causes tragic results for Romeo”and Juliet’s love. Revenge, love, and a secret marriage force the young star-crossed lovers to grow up quickly. After long going violence, fate causes them to commit suicide in despair.

On the other hand, forgiveness and repentance are the prime themes of the play The Tempest. The play opens with Antonio, Alonso, and several of their retainers on a ship in a great storm, the titular tempest. Unbeknownst to them, the storm is the work of Prospero, who aims to shipwreck them on his island. Once they are washed ashore, Prospero plans to take revenge on his foes and regain his position as Duke of Milan. Eventually, through magic, intimidation, and trickery, Prospero succeeds in his plans. Prospero is restored to his dukedom, brings about the revelation of Antonio’s betrayal, and secures the marriage of Miranda to King Alonso’s son, Prince Ferdinand. Throughout the play Prospero holds close contact with his daughter Miranda and he essentially controls her life. In both of Shakespeare’s works, he uses the theme of parental control to represent the relationship between parents and their children because of the long going question on why teenagers are so reluctant towards the rules and wants of their care takers.

William Shakespeare did an amazing job at creating clear relationships between characters and conflicts between characters in both plays. Those relationships give the reader a better idea of what the fait of all the characters will come out to be. While putting that into the parental control theme, one could say that both plays have strong connections between families and the children they are dealing with. For example, in Romeo and Juliet their parents have to deal the rivalry between the Montegue and Capulet families. When Romeo sees Juliet and they fall in love, that gets in the way of their parents wishes. In this story, Juliet’s mother has control over her saying who she is allowed to love, but Juliet does not follow by those expectations. Romeo, on the other hand, had a closer relationship with his father and his father was more accepting and lenient with his decisions. In the end neither disobedient actions turn out for the best and the reader is left with a story of children becoming ignorant to what’s most important in their life and within their families.

Along with the parental control theme, The Tempest has a father daughter relationship that is very strong in the story. Prospero wants to protect his daughter while he is trying to get revenge on his brother for the evil acts he has done upon him. Miranda and his bond in the play is very strong and powerful, but it has some cracks in the structure. Prospero has a very strict control over Miranda, especially any aspects relating to sexual relations. Prospero loves having and controlling power, and Miranda is another thing to add to his list, which he can have complete power over. This created conflict between the two and it can become troublesome for Miranda and her love life. For example, when Prince Ferdinand is infatuated with Miranda and she returns that feeling, Prospero does not approve. He wants the best for his daughter and Ferdinand isn’t making the cut. This is shown when Prospero says to Ferdinand after he calls Miranda a goddess, ‘A word, good sir; I fear you have done yourself some wrong. A word.”(The Tempest 1.2.38-39). His love for his daughter is also shown when he says:

“I have done nothing but in care of thee, thee, my daughter who art ignorant of what though art, naught knowing of whence I am, or that I am more better than Prospero, master of a full poor cell, and thy no greater father.'(The Tempest 1.1.19-24).

Even though they got into multiple arguments like this, Prospero and Miranda’s bond stayed strong and close throughout the whole play.
Overall, both works of writing by Shakespeare himself strongly show the bond within parents and children through the theme of parental control. While reading these pieces, a reader of any age can relate to the messages brought thorough these two stories. If a child is reading one of these plays, they will be able to apply it to the life they’re in now where they are in their parents control. If an adult is reading one of these plays, they can apply the concepts of trying to maintain their child under their rules, and the struggles that come with that. The theme of parental control and the pros and cons that come with it are shown through these pieces to further explore and show the relationships created between families in different situations.

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