The Tempest | Literature Criticism Virtue, Vice, and Compassion in Montaigne and The Tempest

This literature criticism consists of approximately 22 pages of analysis & critique of The Tempest.
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Arthur Kirsch, University of Virginia

It has long been recognized that Shakespeare borrowed from Montaigne. Gonzalo's Utopian vision in The Ternpest (II.i.142-76)1 is indebted to a passage in Florio's translation of Montaigne's essay, "Of the Cannibals,"2 and Prospero's speech affirming that "The rarer action is / In virtue than in vengeance" (V.i.20-32) is derived from the opening of Florio's translation of the essay, "Of Cruelty" (2:108). The king's speech in All's Well That Ends Well on the distinction between virtue and nobility (II.iii.117-44) appears to be a similarly direct, if less well-known, borrowing from "Upon Some Verses of Virgil" (3:72-3), an essay whose treatment of the polarization of sensuality and affection also has bearing upon...

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This section contains 6,453 words
(approx. 22 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Virtue, Vice, and Compassion in Montaigne and The Tempest