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Essay: Comparing The Tempest and Endgame: Similarities in Remote Settings and Lack of Knowledge

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  • Published: 1 February 2018*
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Paste yoFor this assignment l will compare the two amazing plays. “The Tempest” which is written by William Shakespeare. And, “The Tempest” is a play about love, magical power, disloyalty, and forgiveness. On the other hand, “Endgame” which is written by Samuel Beckett’s. The title “Endgame” is represented in the sense that living the life is like playing chess. I believe that the identity of characters is similar to each other in each of the plays because I believe the place of each of the plays are remote, and characters of both the plays have lack of information about what is happening outside in the world.

“The Tempest” begins shockingly, with the tempest that results in shipwreck leaving the ship’s passengers stranded on an isolated island. In the ship, these are the only persons Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio, Ferdinand, Gonzalo, Prospero, and his daughter Miranda. Prospero is rightly the Duke of Milan. But, being devoted more to the study of philosophy and magic than to affairs of state. Similarly, “Endgame” takes place in a small room of Hamm’s house which is only connected to the outside by its two windows. The two windows, the ladder and the chair positioned into the center represent the symbol of danger. It is a creative part of the play. In the “Endgame” Hamm and Clov presented to senses of characters. They both symbolize human mind. Although, Nagg and Nell symbolize memory. Hamm is a master because he controls over other characters. In the “Endgame” all the four characters are physically disabled. Hamm is blind and paralyzed cannot stand. Therefore, Clov cannot sit, and Nagg and Nell have no legs.

 Hamm regularly orders Clov to look out the window because he is visually impaired, they have the lack of knowledge about what has happened around them. “It all happened without me. I don't know what's happened.” (Beckett,74) Because Hamm wants Clov to get information about the external world. And, Clov provides the details about the outside to the spectators and to Hamm. Clov said that nothing is changed in nature. At that point Hamm and Clov trust that “There's no more nature” (Beckett,11), However, they only know about “the vicinity” that emphasize their ignorance about the outside. On the contrary, in The Tempest, Prospero blames himself for his estrangement from the society in Italy. Hence, he is more aware of himself contrasted with the characters in Endgame.

In the starting of “The Tempest” play, Prospero keeps his power by controlling Ariel that allows him to raise a storm which makes Miranda, Alonso, and Gonzalo fall into sleep, and stops Ferdinand and Caliban from revolting against him. Similarly, in the “Endgame” Hamm gives power to Clov to control Nagg and Nell for just like Ariel in The Tempest. Moreover, in “The Tempest” Ariel and Caliban are comparative from many points of view. First, they both are slaves to Prospero and obey his commands. Secondly, Caliban is not human, he is an almost incredible animal. “The Tempest has ‘cast Ariel as the “good nigger” who chooses to align his interests with those of the colonial power’, while ‘Caliban represents rebellion against it” (Ridge 239). It means Prospero and Ariel both likes each other. But, Caliban does not like Prospero. Caliban is rude because he is monstrous, but Ariel has a caring side to him, feeling bad after obeying Prospero. Ariel follows Prospero without any hesitation but once Caliban gets behind Prospero’s back, he is going to curse him. These two characters play a very important role in the play. They are both viewed as Prospero’s adherents in the play and both assume an essential part.

Because of controlling Ariel, Prospero likewise obtains the power to change the plot. To gain the power Prospero brings Alonso, Sebastian, and others to the island and plans the marriage of Miranda and Ferdinand.  Similarly, Hamm has the ability to “bring in other characters” (Beckett,54) to the story. And, Hamm is also shown as responsible for the destruction of nature which is emphasized with Hamm’s handkerchief stained with blood. He orders Clov to kill a flea, by saying that “(…)humanity might start from there all over again!”. (Beckett,33) Similarly, Prospero’s controlling the natural sources also gives him a way of life as a colonist. “Our revels now are ended.” This line is spoken by Prospero and Hamm. It emphasized the similarity between both the characters. Furthermore, when he tries to revolt, Ariel is reminded about his duty to Prospero, avoiding him from acting against the authority of Prospero just like Clov being obliged to Hamm. It is similar to Ariel because Sycorax kept Ariel in prison. Moreover, Clov compares the room with a “cell”.

The “Home” poem, which is written by Safiya Sinclair is also similar to “The Tempest” play. The poem is all about the island, magic and forgiving that’s why it is similar.  In the “Home” poem the role of Spanish and Doctor Bird is similar to Caliban and Ariel in “The Tempest” because Ariel fights Caliban with use of Magic and helps Prospero. “How the Spanish built walls of broken glass to keep me out but the Doctor Bird kept chasing and raking me in.” I believe in these lines Doctor Bird shows a role of Ariel here and helps the author to get in. The author seems like Prospero. And, the Spanish show a similar role like as Caliban. Spanish made the glass walls on the island to keep out the author from the place.

 According to my point of view “Endgame” is more interesting play as compared to “The Tempest”. Moreover, “The Tempest” has many characters in the play. But, in the “Endgame” the story revolves around the four characters. In each of the plays, Prospero and Hamm show the same role to control the other characters. The characters controlled in both the plays have an awareness which does not result in any change. Clov directly reflects the character of Caliban. “Endgame” is the story of the last stage of the chess game. “The Tempest” has a definite ending. But, “Endgame” has no definite ending.

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