Harvard Law School

how far and in what ways does shakespeare''s presentation of the island contribute to the play's meaning and effect

closely using literature terms

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Last updated by katrina r #181785
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Hi Erica P. In order to answer your question, you first must tell me which play you are referring to, as a few of The Bard's plays contain islands. You could be talking about The Tempest, for example, or Twelfth Night.

Let's assume that you're asking about The Tempest. Island references are abundant in literature, and in many cases the island represents isolation and a break from civilized society. This play is no different. We first meet Prospero and Miranda, refugees from Milan, so to speak, at the beginning of the play. Prospero has brought Miranda up in almost complete isolation, and without society there to interfere or to show Miranda anything different, Prospero has had complete control over Miranda and what she views as a "normal" life. In fact, when others are shipwrecked on the island, Prospero's perfectly controlled environment is visited by chaos and Miranda starts to question her father's authority.


The Tempest