Study Help Essay Questions


1. How does Prospero's magic differ from that of the witch, Sycorax?

2. Prospero's need for revenge could easily have led to tragedy. Compare The Tempest to one of Shakespeare's tragedies, such as Hamlet. What elements of revenge are present in both plays? How are they different? In what way is Prospero's revenge neutralized by romance?

3. Compare the plot to murder Prospero to the plot to murder Alonso. Shakespeare clearly intended one murder plot to mirror the other. What does each group of conspirators have in common? How important are social status and rank in evaluating these two murder plots?

4. Compare Gonzalo's ideas of the ideal society and commonwealth with those of Sir Thomas More in his Utopia. Why do you think that utopian dreams are destined to fail?

5. Traditionally, Shakespeare uses poetry for noble characters and prose for the lower class. Caliban, however, uses both poetry and prose. Discuss why he shifts between poetry and prose and under what circumstances. What does this reveal about this character?