The Tempest

The Role of Loyalty in Shakespeare's The Tempest 12th Grade

Throughout the narrative of William Shakespeare’s play, The Tempest, the idea of loyalty is discussed in different scenarios and different situations that align with each separate facet of the plot. While this principle is regularly utilized within Shakespeare’s many works, the characters of The Tempest provide a unique variation to the discussion. Rather than having allegiance to people each character demonstrates their loyalty to a concept. Shifting the definition of loyalty also allows for an examination of each character's’ motives and personality which is particularly exemplified in three stories of Ferdinand, Caliban, and Ariel as they develop through the plot. Shakespeare’s choice to depict allegiance to concepts rather than people illustrates how loyalty is simply a construct that is manipulated to fit the morals and ambitions of each individual.

Perhaps one of the most blatant examples of loyalty to a concept is in Ferdinand’s devotion to love. While one could argue that his actions represent a loyalty to Miranda (which can be a difficult distinction to make: devotion to love or devotion to a lover), Ferdinand clearly demonstrates his loyalty to the concept in that he is never subservient to Miranda; such that even...

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