Discuss Prospero’s self-transformation in ‘The Tempest’. How does his language highlight this change?

In ‘The Tempest’, fortune has brought Prospero’s enemies within his grasp and he seizes the opportunity for revenge. The play opens with A tempestuous noise of thunder and lightning,” accompanied by urgent tones, Do you not hear him? You mar our labour- keep your cabins. You do assist the storm.  The use of high modal language reflects the chaos and urgency of the situation and the extent of Prospero’s revenge.

The audience is exposed to Prospero’s dark and despotic nature through his treatment of Ariel and Caliban, whom he refers to as Malignant thing”. Aided by Caliban’s soliloquy, the audience receives a clear representation of Prospero’s nature. Sometimes am I All wound with adders who with cloven tongues Do hiss me into madness”. The use of the torture and violent imagery highlight Prospero’s cruelty which has arisen due to his imprisonment by his feelings of revenge as a result of the initial usurpation.

However, in ‘The Tempest’, the audience witnesses Prospero’s transformation take place as he learns to forgive his enemies. He states the rarer action is in virtue rather than vengeance. The use of alliteration and contrast highlights these opposing paths. Prospero has chosen compassion and mercy, moving towards a recognition of the futility of revenge.

He witnesses the omnitude of Miranda and Ferdinand’s love and bestows a blessing. Heaven’s grace on that which breeds between em. This signals the start of his transformation. The use of celestial imagery is an antithesis of hell imagery flame”, “fire”, “sulphurous roaring explored in Act 1. Prospero revels in an enthusiastic tone “why that’s my spirit”, acknowledging the suffering inflicted on his enemies. This contrasts with his behaviour in Act 3 scene 1 when he shows great delight in Miranda and Ferdinand’s good fortune, emphasising his transformation.As I foretold you, were all spirits, and Are melted into air.” The use of emotive language and simile highlights the temporal nature of the world and that human experience is fleeting. Prospero recognises the impermanence of human life and with this recognition comes a shift in perspective and thus his self-transformation. 



Kicking Goals

Give an example from your own life where you have successfully confronted male domination.

“You play AFL? But that’s a men’s game”

“You’re so delicate, you might hurt yourself”

“Play a sport like netball, it’s more ladylike”

“Women can’t play AFL”

I am deeply saddened to say, that the comments above are only a handful of what I have received in my AFL career. The idea that a woman isn’t able to achieve things to the same extent as a man still plagues our society today, and it’s completely unacceptable.

I was about 6 years old when I picked up my first football. The smooth feeling of the cherry coloured leather between my hands had me excited at the possibility of being one of the first women to play AFL professionally.

Playing AFL was like nothing I had ever experienced before. The rush of adrenaline that came with being chased, the staining of knees as you slid along the grass, the crunching sounds that accompanied a strong tackle. There were so many things to love about AFL.

However, I’ll never forget, in my first year of playing AFL a group of boys were watching my team play. They weren’t admiring our skills, or our athleticism, instead they were looking at our bodies. Comments were being thrown around about how we looked in the uniform, including how our legs looked in the shorts. It made me angry because we were not objects on show to be admired, we were here to be taken seriously. To challenge this male-dominated industry and say, “we, as women, deserve the right to play on this field just as much as anyone else”.
My legs are not to be stared at for your enjoyment, they’re here to kick goals, and that’s what they’ll do.

AFL has taught me that being feminine isn’t just about playing with dolls and make-up. Femininity isn’t tied down to a certain category. You can play AFL or Rugby and still be feminine.
It has also taught me to be strong. Last year I broke my collarbone after being tackled in a game. The tireless comments that followed included “well you’re quite small and fragile what did you expect” and “that’s what happens when you play a men’s game,” made me wish they were the ones tackled instead. At the end of the day, it was a character-building exercise. It made me stronger (emotionally, mentally and physically), and though some may look at my large scar and disapprove, it’s part of who I am, and it was endured doing something I love, and I wouldn’t change it for the world, (it also makes me look pretty badass).

I am proud of all the women and girls that continue to play AFL despite the sexism that resides in the industry. Together, we are making a statement and together we are kicking goals.

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The man behind the mask: William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare, it’s a name that’s uttered fairly frequently, especially within the walls of a Literature classroom. Many of us have in fact studied his writings for years. We’ve grown to analyse and understand his texts. We’ve called him a literary genius, daring, inventive, poetic, perhaps even revolutionary! But how well do we actually know William Shakespeare?

While it can be rather difficult trying to envisage someone who died in 1616, it can be amusing conceptualising what they may have been like. Every individual imagines differently just like they dream, some dream in colour and others in black and white. The point here is, everyone’s idea of Shakespeare will vary, but that’s the beauty of the human mind and its ability imagine. As Shakespeare himself said, “And as imagination bodies forth the form of things unknown, the poet’s pen turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing, a local habitation, and a name.”

I believe Shakespeare would’ve been the type of man who stood out no matter where he went. His intelligence, eccentricity, and ability to be daring (as demonstrated in his writings), would be something that people tended to gravitate towards. However, I believe behind the intelligence and confidence, there was a sense of uniqueness which would’ve contributed to making his writings so exceptional and at times a little out of the ordinary. It was a uniqueness that I believe often accompanies highly intelligent people. It makes you stare at them in awe and appreciate what a wonderfully curious mind they possess. It’s almost as if their mind is a mystery, like the thoughts they create, are ones you could never have possibly conjured up yourself. It’s that sense of being different that I think would’ve attracted people to Shakespeare.

I also imagine Shakespeare to be quite a savvy businessman. He understood the logistics of drama and what his audience wanted (and still wants), which helped to make him very successful. What I like about Shakespeare too, is that he did not die broke, crazy or an alcoholic. He died with an air of class about him. He died a wealthy and famous man “whose name has outlived time”.

If Shakespeare were alive today, I would love to ask him what inspired so many of his writings? What jealous “green-eyed monster” inspired the character of Iago? What type of love had he endured to construct that of ‘Romeo and Juliet? And don’t even get me started on Titania and Bottom…

What drove Shakespeare to concoct such extraordinary and time-defying work is a question that for now and perhaps always, will remain unanswered. Instead of pondering the unsolvable, we shall sit back and instead, continue to appreciate the literary magic of William Shakespeare.