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A Tempting Repetition

"Repetition becomes a prominent figure in Shakespeare's late style generally, and The Tempest in particular derives much of its poetic power from phonetic lexical, and syntactical reiteration." (McDonald 101)

One of the first things I noticed while reading The Tempest was the repetition. It forces the reader to recognize that something important is happening in these scenes. I went back a few times and reread where the repetition seemed to echo through the text. McDonald does a wonderful job of pulling out these lines.

The power of repetition works on the mind subconsciously. The reader senses a sort of deja vu which inclines them to reread or study those repetitive lines. Shakespeare knew he could capture the attention of his audience with the emotion of repetitiion.


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Comments (5)

Derek Tickle:

Great Quote! I also noticed how the repetition allowed the reader to determine what the character was thinking. This repetition makes the reader think about what the character is thinking. I used Prospero's quote of "Twelve year since, Miranda, twelve year since / Thy father was the Duke of Milan and / A prince of power" (Shakespeare I.ii.63-65) to show how authority was being expressed through a visual and textual meaning.

Quinn Kerno:

I too noticed a great deal of repetition within The Tempest. McDonald's essay really clarified the techniques I noticed Shakespeare using. It's amazing how he manipulated his verse for audiences.


I also found the repetition very intriguing. I thought that it was interesting how McDonald said that repetition symbolized reproductions of events. I talked about it on my blog http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JennaMiller/2009/02/please-repeat-that.html

Katie Vann:

It seems like alot of people wrote their blogs on repetition. But, I can see why because it was so important and occured so often throughout the play.

james lohr:

I chose this quote as well, not sure why it stuck out to me. I guess it was probably because the thought of repetition is so much like a television commercial, the important parts are repeated to force us to remember them.

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