The Tempest and Translations

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Prospero’s hatred for his brother Antonio stems from the fact that Antonio seized the right to be Duke of Milan that was rightfully Prospero’s. However, despite Prospero’s hatred for his brother, we see him eventually forgive his brother. Prospero says, “Though with their high wrongs I am struck to th’ quick, Yet with my nobler reason ‘gainst my fury Do I take part. The rarer action is In virtue than in vengeance” Fury and vengeance are natural feelings for a man who has been treated by his brother as Prospero has, but Prospero is able to subdue these instincts and exercise a higher and rarer quality, forbearance.

In Shakespearean times, it was widely thought that to be a master of other men, one must first be the master of oneself, and we can see the difficulty and nobility of Prospero in achieving this in his relationship with his brother. The relationship between Prospero and Antonio has the same emphasis on sibling rivalry that can be found in ‘Translations’ between Owen and Manus. There is a continuous friction between Owen and Manus in ‘Translations’. This is immediately identified as Owen arrives back in Ballybeg after many years away.

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Very few words, and even fewer sincere words of love are exchanged between the brothers. Owen is the deserting brother where Antonio is the usurping brother. Manus is constantly critical of Owen’s English identity, and he says, “but there are always the Rolands, aren’t there? ” suggesting a dishonest duplicity on the part of his brother. It is also significant that Owen is the man who introduces Yolland to Maire, a relationship that is the source of much discontent for Manus. The love of Miranda and Ferdinand is controlled by Prospero, which gives it a sense of repression.

Miranda has never seen a young man before (argument that it is her only option, no choice. Indeed when she sees men in the courtly party, she admires them too – quote III. 1. 83-84 & V. 1. 181-183), whilst Ferdinand has been involved in many relationships previously. However, he says, “Full many a lady I have eyed with best regard… But you, O you, So perfect and so peerless, are created Of every creature’s best” They identify the royalty in each other. They can also be seen as a symbol of unity, as they join Prospero and Antonio, causing them to recognise the value in amicability.

In ‘The Tempest’, language creates a freedom of expression between the lovers. However, Prospero feels it necessary to be in control to love someone. He must be manipulative. ‘The Tempest’ demonstrates that relationships do not rely on power but in the bond of mutuality made possible by language. However, in ‘Translations’, language is the very restriction felt by Yolland and Maire. Their love is constrained due to language. ‘Translations’ shows that often speaking the same language is not a guarantee of love, as is highlighted by the phrase, “but will that help you to interpret between privacies?

” ANALYSE TWO TEXTS – MAIRE AND YOLLAND DRIFTING APART DUE TO LANGUAGE AND FERDINAND AND MIRANDA COMING TOGETHER DUE TO LANGUAGE. Language cannot express the love that they feel for one another, so they turn to cosmic means, calling the basic elements. Ferdinand also swears by the heaven and the earth, but his call for the heaven and earth to bare witness is much less of a despairing last hope, and much more of a desire to express his love through the beauty of language.

THE IDEA OF WORKING FOR LOVE – CONFRONTATION BETWEEN THE PUBLIC SELF AD THE PRIVATE SELF – PHYSICAL WORK OF FERDINAND (who refuses to let Miranda help him) AND CHALLENGES THAT FACE MAIRE AND YOLLAND (where both must sacrifice or contradict their roots for their love). Yolland and Maire’s love where each is drawn to the others’ identity, wanting it as their own, drawn together by issues that will ultimately divide them, versus Ferdinand and Miranda whose love is not antagonistic. The love between employer and employee can also be seen in both ‘The Tempest’ and ‘Translations’.

Ariel is a trusted spirit, and greatly loved by his master, Prospero. Prospero’s nicknames for Ariel are all recognitions of his servant’s qualities, namely “my bird”, “my chick”, “my delicate Ariel”, “my industrious servant”, “my brave spirit”, “my dainty Ariel”, “my tricksy spirit”, and “my diligence”. However, all of these names stress the same opening word – “My”, which identifies Prospero as a commanding authority. When Ariel has moods of reluctance, and reminds Prospero that their relationship is based on a bargain (“Remember I have done thee worthy service…

Thou did promise to bate me a full year”), Prospero feels the need to re-establish his superior position, as he replies, “If thou more murmur’st, I will rend an oak, And peg thee in his knotty entrails, till Thou hast howled away twelve winters” Ariel, although unable to feel human feelings and emotions, is intrigued to know whether his master loves him, and he eventually asks him, “Do you love me master? No? ” Indeed Prospero loves Ariel more than any other character in the play. The relationship between Lancey and Owen in ‘Translations’ is very different.

Lancey and Owen seem on friendly terms at first glance, but at the end of the play, Owen is instructed harshly by Lancey, saying, “Do your job. Translate. ” A similarity can be seen between the reinforcement of a hierarchy by Lancey and by Prospero, but Lancey does not love Owen. Owen is simply a means to an end, a relationship purely built on the grounds of business.


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