The Gradual Perfection Of Shakespeare

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Shakespeare's The Tempest, Frye


Literary Criticism--EL312

Frye made good point on how Shakespeare made The Tempest into a comedy that most readers do not expect from a comedy. He stated that the play is "a comic parody of a revenge tragedy, in which there is repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation instead of revenge." Here is were our last lesson of mimetic criticism come in. It is a very complicated situation between Prospero and his brother Antonio, not only that humans are complex creatures and seeing that Prospero did not take revenge even though he had a chance is just something that could be connected to real people.

However here is where intertextual criticism crushes that notion. Frye explains that "to expand into the divine world means a reduction of the human one."

Seeing that Prospero is a magican on a magical island, I have one word...
DUH
(OK maybe that wasn't necessary)

It is kind of hard to refer to reality when you see all of these magical elements in the play. But where did Shakespeare get his influences from? Well, Frye stated that a lot of his insprations are just an ability to learn from his old works, such as The Winter's Tale. Other works includeThe Aenied. I am a big fan of Shakespeare's and I found it interesting that he learned from any mistakes that he might have had to create a play as extensive as The Tempest. This play makes contrast between reality (Realipolitik, Antonio plots to kill the sleeping Alonso) and creativity (Arts, preferably magic) via the experiences and influences that Shakespeare had. I agreed with Frye when he stated that "a certain level of credibility demands a degree of sophistication."

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Frye also states that the term "magic" in renaissance times was synonomous with art. Magicians were artists, and so was Prospero to Frye. He uses the other texts he references in this essay to stress that part of Shakespeare's "magic" was to turn a romance into a tragedy into a comedy.