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From Geocities 6: “The Tempest” essay

Original Version

A text will have different readings to it depending on the context of the readers and the composer. The level of contrast will depend on how much, values and attitudes have evolved from one to context to another. The ideology of the 18th century Europe towards the wild, the natural and civilization is clearly evident in Shakespeare’s Tempest as well as extracts from Tim Flannery’s The Explorers. The main theme of both texts is one of society verses nature, and while the Elizabethan context establishes society to be superior. Readers of a contemporary context will see the merits of both and see the need for co-existence of both.

The Tempest portrays the wild in the forms of the Island and its inhabitants while the Explorers portray the Australia and its indigenous population as the wild. In the Tempest, the nature was probably best personified by Caliban, a noble savage. Who is capable of displaying the malignant element of nature, embraces by the Europeans. “As wicked dew e’er my mother brush’d with raven’s feather from unwholesome fen drop on you both! A south-west blow on ye, and blister you all o’er!”. As well as an eloquent and noble side, “be not afeard, the isle is full of noises, sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not…” this line show the beast’s sensitivity towards beauty and suggests that natives no in no way inferior to the Europeans.

The Explorers is a text, which also examines man’s relationship with nature. However unlike Tempest, the context of various extracts differed and likewise the perception of nature. In earlier extracts such as Jan Carstensz, the image the indigenous population was similar to that of Caliban’s. Carstenz referred to the aborigines as “Malignant and Evil natured”. However certain extracts written in the 19th century context showed a growing appreciation and respect for the wild. George Frankland’s account of his journey through Tasmania emphasized his strong appreciation for the beauty of the landscape “I feel it difficult to avoid expressin the impressions of delight which were inspired by the first discovering of such a romantic country.” Watkin Tench’s journey into the wilds lying north and west of Sydney cove was one, which displayed improved relations between aborigines and Europeans at the time. The Aborigines were liked for their knowledge of the land but mostly for their sense of humor. “But their principal source of merriment was again derived room our misfortunes.”

Unlike the Nature, civilization in the Tempest took on various forms, but mostly principally in the form of prospero. Prospero represents the sophisticated element of society who believed in enforcing their values and belief onto the wild and exploiting it at the same time. The justification behind this was the belief that they were doing the natives a service by introducing them to civilization, to teach them language, “I pitied thee, took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each hour.” Another theme reflected in Tempest was that of civilized men’s assumed superiority and their lack of knowledge concerning the wild. Antonio’s speech on the ship during the violent tempest “We are merely cheated of our lives by drunkards.” Portrays the civilized man’s ignorance of the invincibility of natural forces, of the wild.

In the Explorers, many of the accounts bring forth an extremely eurocentric view as reflective of the values and attitudes of their contextual influences. Abel Tasman’s account in 1642 was composed in the same contextual period as The Tempest, and his attitude to the natural world were similar those characters in the Tempest. The theme reflected in Tasman’s account is one where the purpose of exploration is to find resources that civilization can exploit, this is reinforced by Tasman’s quote “… covered with vegetation, abundance of excellent timber, and a gently sloping watercourse in the barren valley.” A comparison can also be made between the Tasman’s ignorance of the natives “So there can be no doubt here must be men here of extraordinary stature.” And the Napeans in tempest.

The main theme and purpose that runs through both the Tempest and The Explorers is the conflict between Civilization and the Wild. Shakespeare, however, seems somewhat challenging of the notion of civilization within his own context. Antonio is perhaps a symbol, which symbolizes society’s tendency to corrupt individuals. Shakespeare also poses the question of whether the wild is any inferior to civilization, this can be observed through the humor employed on the attempted coo of Trinculo, Stephano and Caliban. While the Elizabethan audiences may have been unaware of the fact civilization often brings more harm than good to the native populace, readers of a today’s context can easily appreciate the anti-colonial sentiments within the play. Evidence of this can be observed in Caliban’s speech “you taught me language, and my profit on’t is, I know to curse. The red plague rid you for learning me your language.”

Many extracts from the explorers will have lost all relevance within today’s context. Readers may not be able to identify with the imageries of Aborigines been “miserable, their features approached deformity and their persons…disgustingly filthy”, as John Oxley described them. The dramatization employed in many account emphasized the perceptions the explorers had on surrounding, this while effective in creating the motifs for aborigines, it also showed the stereotypical beliefs of society in the 17th century context.

With Corrections

How a text is read depends on the contexts of the readers and of the composer. The level of contrast will depend on how values and attitudes have changed from one to context to another. The ideology of 17h century Europe towards the wild, the natural and civilization is clearly evident in Shakespeare’s Tempest, while the extracts in Tim Flannery’s The Explorers reflect a range of later contexts. The main theme of both texts is the place of society versus nature; the Elizabethan context establishes society to be superior. Readers in a 21st century context will see the merits of both and see the need for co-existence of both. (The word “contemporary” means “of the same period” as well as “modern,” so needs to be used very carefully to avoid ambiguity. In what you wrote it could have meant “Elizabethan”. By the way, The Tempest is actually Jacobean (written in the reign of James I, Elizabeth’s successor. Don’t forget to italicise or in handwriting to underline text titles)

The Tempest portrays the wild in the forms of the Island and its inhabitants while The Explorers portrays Australia and its indigenous population as the wild. In The Tempest, the natural is probably best personified in Caliban, a savage, who is capable of displaying the malignant element of nature: “As wicked dew e’er my mother brush’d with raven’s feather from unwholesome fen drop on you both! A south-west blow on ye, and blister you all o’er!”. As well Caliban has an eloquent and noble side, “Be not afeard, the isle is full of noises, sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not…” This line show the beast’s sensitivity towards beauty and suggests that natives no in no way inferior to the Europeans, representing another European construction of the “savage”, which was to become prominent in the 18th century, the “noble savage.”

The Explorers also examines man’s relationship with nature. However unlike The Tempest, the context of various extracts differs and likewise the perception of nature. In earlier extracts such as Jan Carstensz, the image of the indigenous population is similar to that of Caliban. Carstenz referred to the aborigines as “Malignant and Evil natured”. However certain extracts written in the late 18th and early 19th century context show a growing appreciation and respect for the wild. George Frankland’s account of his journey through Tasmania (insert date) emphasizes his strong appreciation for the beauty of the landscape: “I feel it difficult to avoid expressing the impressions of delight which were inspired by the first discovering of such a romantic country.” Watkin Tench’s journey into the wilds lying north and west of Sydney Cove (insert date) displays improved relations between Aborigines and Europeans at the time. The Aborigines are admired for their knowledge of the land but mostly for their sense of humour. “But their principal source of merriment was again derived from our misfortunes.”

Civilization in The Tempest takes on various forms, but is principally seen in the form of Prospero. Prospero represents the sophisticated element of Jacobean society who believed in enforcing their values and belief onto the wild and exploiting it at the same time. The justification behind this was the belief that they were doing the natives a service by introducing them to civilization, to teach them language, “I pitied thee, took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each hour.” Another theme reflected in The Tempest is that of civilized men’s assumed superiority and their lack of knowledge concerning the wild. Antonio’s speech on the ship during the violent tempest “We are merely cheated of our lives by drunkards.” Portrays the civilized man’s ignorance of the invincibility of natural forces, of the wild. (A note on tense. You will notice I have altered quite a few of your tenses. The general rule is to use present when talking about the texts, and past when talking about the history behind them.)

In The Explorers, many of the accounts bring forth an extremely Eurocentric view as reflective of the values and attitudes of their contextual influences. Abel Tasman’s account in 1642 was composed in the same contextual period as The Tempest, and his attitude to the natural world is similar to those characters in The Tempest. The theme reflected in Tasman’s account is one where the purpose of exploration is to find resources that civilization can exploit: “… covered with vegetation, abundance of excellent timber, and a gently sloping watercourse in the barren valley.” A comparison can also be made between the Tasman’s ignorance of the natives and that of the Neapolitans in The Tempest. “So there can be no doubt here must be men here of extraordinary stature.”

The main theme that runs through both The Tempest and The Explorers is the conflict between Civilization and the Wild. Shakespeare, however, seems somewhat to challenge the notion of civilization within his own context. Antonio is perhaps a symbol of society’s tendency to corrupt individuals. (“…symbol, which symbolises…” was really awful!) Shakespeare also poses the question of whether the wild is at all inferior to civilization. This can be observed through the humor employed in the attempted coup of Trinculo, Stephano and Caliban. While Jacobean audiences may have been unaware of the fact that civilization often brings more harm than good to the native populace, readers in today’s context can easily appreciate the anti-colonial possibilities of the play. Evidence of this can be observed in Caliban’s speech “You taught me language, and my profit on’t is, I know to curse. The red plague rid you for learning me your language.”

Many extracts in The Explorers will have lost all relevance** within today’s context. Readers may not be able to identify with the imagery of Aborigines as “miserable, their features approached deformity and their persons…disgustingly filthy”, as John Oxley described them. The dramatization employed in many accounts emphasizes the perceptions the explorers had of their surroundings, this, while effective in creating the motifs for aborigines, also shows the stereotypical beliefs of society in earlier centuries.

I am afraid I have no idea what you mean in that section I have put in red; you need to develop it a lot more if you want the examiner to understand it. **Sadly, too, you might think about how the “miserable…” etc description of Aborigines is not quite dead: consider modern media representations of Aborigines as drunks, criminals and dole bludgers.

The corrections I have made would lift the rating of the essay quite a bit. Did you look at the Standards Package during the year? That is the best way to get a feel for the level of discussion, language and sophistication needed for "Band 6."

All the best 🙂

Final Version

How a text is read depends on the contexts of the readers and of the composer. The level of contrast will depend on how values and attitudes have changed from one to context to another. The ideology of 17h century Europe towards the wild, the natural and civilization is clearly evident in Shakespeare’s Tempest, while the extracts in Tim Flannery’s The Explorers reflect a range of later contexts. The main theme of both texts is the place of society versus nature; the Elizabethan context establishes society to be superior. Readers in a 21st century context will see the merits of both and see the need for co-existence of both.

The Tempest portrays the wild in the forms of the Island and its inhabitants while The Explorers portrays Australia and its indigenous population as the wild. In The Tempest, the natural is probably best personified in Caliban, a savage, who is capable of displaying the malignant element of nature: “As wicked dew e’er my mother brush’d with raven’s feather from unwholesome fen drop on you both! A south-west blow on ye, and blister you all o’er!”. As well Caliban has an eloquent and noble side, “Be not afeard, the isle is full of noises, sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not…” This line show the beast’s sensitivity towards beauty and suggests that natives no in no way inferior to the Europeans, representing another European construction of the “savage”, which was to become prominent in the 18th century, the “noble savage.”

The Explorers also examines man’s relationship with nature. However unlike The Tempest, the context of various extracts differs and likewise the perception of nature. In earlier extracts such as Jan Carstensz, the image of the indigenous population is similar to that of Caliban. Carstenz referred to the aborigines as “Malignant and Evil natured”. However certain extracts written in the late 18th and early 19th century context show a growing appreciation and respect for the wild. George Frankland’s account of his journey through Tasmania (insert date) emphasizes his strong appreciation for the beauty of the landscape: “I feel it difficult to avoid expressing the impressions of delight which were inspired by the first discovering of such a romantic country.” Watkin Tench’s journey into the wilds lying north and west of Sydney Cove (insert date) displays improved relations between Aborigines and Europeans at the time. The Aborigines are admired for their knowledge of the land but mostly for their sense of humour. “But their principal source of merriment was again derived from our misfortunes.”

Civilization in The Tempest takes on various forms, but is principally seen in the form of Prospero. Prospero represents the sophisticated element of Jacobean society who believed in enforcing their values and belief onto the wild and exploiting it at the same time. The justification behind this was the belief that they were doing the natives a service by introducing them to civilization, to teach them language, “I pitied thee, took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each hour.” Another theme reflected in The Tempest is that of civilized men’s assumed superiority and their lack of knowledge concerning the wild. Antonio’s speech on the ship during the violent tempest “We are merely cheated of our lives by drunkards.” Portrays the civilized man’s ignorance of the invincibility of natural forces, of the wild.

In The Explorers, many of the accounts bring forth an extremely Eurocentric view as reflective of the values and attitudes of their contextual influences. Abel Tasman’s account in 1642 was composed in the same contextual period as The Tempest, and his attitude to the natural world is similar to those characters in The Tempest. The theme reflected in Tasman’s account is one where the purpose of exploration is to find resources that civilization can exploit: “… covered with vegetation, abundance of excellent timber, and a gently sloping watercourse in the barren valley.” A comparison can also be made between the Tasman’s ignorance of the natives and that of the Neapolitans in The Tempest. “So there can be no doubt here must be men here of extraordinary stature.”

The main theme that runs through both The Tempest and The Explorers is the conflict between Civilization and the Wild. Shakespeare, however, seems somewhat to challenge the notion of civilization within his own context. Antonio is perhaps a symbol of society’s tendency to corrupt individuals. Shakespeare also poses the question of whether the wild is at all inferior to civilization. This can be observed through the humor employed in the attempted coup of Trinculo, Stephano and Caliban. While Jacobean audiences may have been unaware of the fact that civilization often brings more harm than good to the native populace, readers in today’s context can easily appreciate the anti-colonial possibilities of the play. Evidence of this can be observed in Caliban’s speech “You taught me language, and my profit on’t is, I know to curse. The red plague rid you for learning me your language.”

Many extracts in The Explorers will have lost all relevance within today’s context. Readers may not be able to identify with the imagery of Aborigines as “miserable, their features approached deformity and their persons…disgustingly filthy”, as John Oxley described them. The dramatization employed in many accounts emphasizes the perceptions the explorers had of their surroundings, this, while effective in creating the motifs for aborigines, also shows the stereotypical beliefs of society in earlier centuries.

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