Examine and discuss the significance of time in the play The Tempest.
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The Tempest blurs the edges of what is real, and what is not, so effortlessly and so quickly throughout the plot that it can be considered toppling over the metaphorical edge of reason towards a chaotic illusion, however, the comedic structure holds the play together and preventing it from entering a genre closer the Theatre of the Absurd with no classic resolution. To achieve this affect Shakespeare initially takes away one of humanities greatest frameworks: time. Although the play moves in a chronological fashion there are no clocks featured and no mention of day by any of the characters when speaking of the island which moves the play away from our relatable world. Prospero mentions time to Miranda when talking about Naples, as he states his usurpation was “one midnight” (i), despite this being a fleeting phrase it separates Naples and the Island, which is separating our world from this new liminal space of The Island. The time element provides certainties when humans are confused of a series of events, and now that it is taken away nothing is provable and therefore cannot be thought of as real or ever happening.