The Tempest

what is the social or political hierarchy in THE TEMPEST?

social or political condition

Asked by
Last updated by Aslan
Answers 1
Add Yours

Right from the beginning we have a plit between the magical world and the temporal world. Although the nobility on the ship consider themselves of the utmost importance the boatswain suggests that the current storm they are in is much more powerful than the people on board, "what cares these roarers for the name of king." Ironically the storm is not nature's fury rather than Prospero's magic. Prospero seeks to put back an original hierarchy before he was usurped. So, right away we can see a certain magical force take precedent over the world of the real. Antonio and Sebastian's diffidence toward the boatswain on account of their status is the first demonstration in the play of social hierarchy, which becomes an important theme. Characters within the work, like Antonio, Sebastian, and even Prospero, depend upon the perpetuation of this hierarchy to give them their power, and only become leaders when those beneath them in station submit to them. Caliban is well aware that Prospero's position depends on Caliban's obeisance, as he says to Prospero, "I am all the subjects that you have"; though it is Prospero's "art" and power, rather than a landed title, that makes Caliban, the natural owner of the island, subordinate.

I hope this makes sense to you. I took much of this right out of GradeSaver. Take a look at the source link below and you might find further clarity.