What does the tempest symbolize in The Tempest


The Tempest means storm. The title refers not only to the physical storm that occurs in the first scene of the play but to the disobedient passions of the characters that like the storm. In the play, Shakespeare points to the psychological storm through the physical Strom. 

More Notes: The Tempest

Tempest is associated with social Ups and downs: 

The play Tempest opens with a storm in the sea where a ship is being rocked because of the Storm. In the tempest, the storm is associated with the social natural climate. in the tempest, we see that as the crew and passengers are being thrown around on deck, panic spreads and Duke Antonio tries barking orders at the crew quite a lot of trash-talking goes down.  

The Boatswain, who knows little about sailing, tells the Duke of Milan to keep his mouth closed and get out of the way he says “Hence! What cares these roarers / for the name of King? To cabin! Silence; trouble us not” Oh, snap! The social and political order starts to break down here as the Boatswain points out that royal titles are useless in a life-and-death situation at sea. 

Symbol of forgiveness and freedom:  

Tempest also symbolizes forgiveness and freedom. though Prospero, the duke of Milan has expelled from his dukedom by his brother Antonio and Alonso, the king of Naples. He leads a miserable life and tries to gather his magical power by practicing magic books. At last, Prospero acquires spiritual powers and brings all his enemies within his grip, he decides to forgive them all, and actually, he forgives all the culprits, his brother Antonio, Sebastian, Alonso, and Caliban too. 

Besides the tempest give us a message that the true freedom of man consists in his service to others. This fact is felt by Ariel who is proud to work under Prospero. Although Ariel is a sprite with a passionate love of freedom, she performs the tasks and duties assigned to her promptly and punctually. As previously promised, Prospero, before leaving the island, dismisses Ariel from his service and thus the sprite is free to roam as he pleases. 

More Notes: The Tempest


Now we can realize that the tempest symbolizes in ”The Tempest ” a storm of human feelings, slavery, desire for freedom, and forgiveness. It also reveals that if a person works with commitment and discipline, happiness and a good day will surely come. 

Rashedul Islam
Rashedul Islam

Hi, This is Rashedul. Researcher and lecturer of English literature and Linguistics.

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