The Theme of Supernatural in The Tempest Essay
The theme of the supernatural is manifest in The Tempest where magic is infused in the play with a different sense than we understand magic today. The whole spectacle sets magic as a wonder and something to be appreciated. Its conceptual development is manifest throughout the play. Magic is practiced in the setting as a craft where Prospero uses it to control the supernatural and natural worlds. An interesting phenomenon about this magic is the way it is set as a distinct kind of craft than what is commonly understood as a witch or black magic. The art develops through an intense study that Prospero carried out until he mastered his art. The power of magic presented is seen as acceptable as it moves from the common notion of magic as a force to promote greed and ambition. It promotes an appreciation of human control on disastrous events making the whole thing appear humorous and reduce the stereotypes that arise where magic is involved. For instance, it is seen that ‘my master through his art can foresee the danger that you, his friends are in and send me forth’ (1.2).
Magic has presented a form of control where Prospero uses that art and ability to influence happenings and make things happen. The island is controlled through the use of some sort of power that works behind the scenes. The human who is limited to natural power is controlled. It is a way of exerting justice through power and control to ensure the nature of desirable, just, and productive direction on the island. For instance, Ariel reports charming the noblemen into immobility as he was instructed by Prospero (5.1). The magic is not at all used as a power to prove someone’s might against the others but it demonstrates a well and acceptable practice that works to bring revenge to its completion. For example, Prospero planned to drown his books and break all his magic staff after completing his last piece of revenge plan (5.1). Magic is used to a better end.
The island and adjacent sea represent the importance of magic in the setting. The general concepts are the sea is so unpredictable, with a lot of turbulence and making every journey like a metaphor. The sea is depicted to mount to welkin’s cheek and dashing the fire out (1.2). However, magic overcomes the natural trends of water and sea that can be controlled to avoid shipwreck and save the lives of the main characters. Magic powerfully preserves those that are ‘exposed unto the sea, him and the innocent child, the powers delaying and incensed the shores and sea’s (3.3)’. Magic gives solace as it is said to deliver all, and promise calm seas (5.1). The person can travel with calmness, sit still, and listen to the last of sea-sorrow (1.2). Magic is an idea in the natural world where human perception, greed, and dominance that create turbulence are controlled. It extends to supernatural events that are destructive and cause those who are unjust to suffer through natural events while preserving the just. The contemplation in The Tempest presents nature in a conflicting view where it takes over human ability and at times becomes more threatening. The human can then use magic to control it and enjoy it.
Basho’s Narrow road to the interior themes revolve around nature and humans seeking to know nature more and end up fitting in the natural world. The beliefs presented by Basho expresses an appreciative approach to nature. It is a journey of emotional experience, feelings, and thoughts that are evoked through poetry. The poem shows the centrality of seasons to haiku where the first day of spring makes the mind to keep thinking about the end of autumn. Seasons are important where they define a specific moment in time as well as lack of eternity. The impermanence of suggested things in nature then leads to the poet’s thought that natural events are experiences that are distinguished and unique and events to be enjoyed.
He paints it in his words; ‘more than ever, I would want to see blossoms at dawn the god’s face’. Natural image is depicted as important but transient events. He uses literal images like snow that cover a half-finished bridge which demonstrates much that the literal meaning. It is his unique way of expressing a man that is still on the journey but has started to face nature. Human beings have no choice but to humble themselves before the natural world. In his own perspective, that nature does not offer a similar experience to all people. To some it is exciting while to others, the revelation about nature is boring and irrelevant. He considered it wise for everyone to have a unique experience as they encounter everything from the natural world. Nature evokes values, beliefs, and ultimately shapes culture. The deep and immense experience of nature is related to historical roots that allow natural events to come into being. Therefore, nature is what presents us with the power to control it since it provides insights that influence our experiences and actions. Nature influences or creativity since it is what majorly informs our thinking.
Different natural phenomena influence the overall experience and shape human developments. The notion promoted by the poem was how to anticipate these natural events and the kind of evolution of humans and the general culture. The ultimate demonstration of nature is something that exists independent of human and their activities. Thus, nature is not influenced by the human mind but impacts the responses that human beings give to the issues, situations, and experiences surrounding them. In turn, humans can only perceive, derive satisfaction, and appreciate with humbleness the trends of nature. The sensation is satisfying and should be all through before someone comes to die. The ‘falling of snow’ is metaphorical and represents how old age can turn fast before the journey of experiencing nature is concluded.
Matsuo, Bashō, and Sam Hamill. The narrow road to the interior. Boston: Shambhala, 1991.
William, Shakespeare. The Tempest. New York: Bantam Classics, 1988.