The Tempest Essay

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Perhaps the most important critical observation in regard to The Tempest's structure is that of its adherence to the classical principles of unity. The entire movement of the play is supposed to occur over the course of just a few hours-probably not much longer than the drama would actually take to perform on or near the small tropical island that has been Prospero's and Miranda's home for the past twelve years. In 1710 Charles Gildon was one of the first to comment on this (for Shakespeare) unusual observance of the unities of action and time. Critics have since noted that this was the dramatist's first and only use of strict adherence to the unities; yet why he choose to form his final play in this manner remains somewhat of a mystery. Ernest Gohn argues that Shakespeare's adoption of these principles is reflected in the theme of urgency that sets...

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This section contains 3,418 words
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The Tempest from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.