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Tempest And Othello

The central issue depicted in both plays The Tempest and Othello is about money. Money in substantial amounts can represent great power and strength over the ruling nation. It plays a major role in our everyday society and one that is fully illustrated in both of Shakespeare’s play. Both of the plays are related to his matter, in that the subplot characters attempt to achieve high respect and, therefore, gain power and strength by deception.

A parallelism can be drawn between the characters of Caliban, Trinculo and Stephano from The Tempest to Othello with Iago, Othello involved. Both of these scenes illustrate how the characters Caliban and Othello are easily fooled by deception. What these characters, from both plays, Trinculo and Stephano and Iago do have in common are their evil intentions and conspiracy’s to gain power by deceiving others to believe in them fully. Caliban, a half human and half beast, is easily fooled by the two men, the derivatives of a higher civilization. Trinculo and Stephano have to plans to turn every situation into their own advantage. Although, Caliban possesses much more intellect than those two roguish members labeled as “civilized”, he submits to the story that they help Caliban murder his deceitful master, Prospero. He declares that Prospero, a skillful magician has wrongfully taken over the island he had inherited from his mother Sycorax. Caliban is not at all appreciative of what Prospero gives to him because he says “You taught me language” (1,2,362) only and because he “must obey” (1,2,371) or else Prospero will inflict pain on him. Caliban immediately declares Trinculo and Stephano as his new master as he joyfully sings a song celebrating their initial meetings. Caliban is deceived into believing that Trinculo and Stephano will deliver their promises when in fact those two so called nobleman had another beneficial matter in mind. It is Stephano’s and Trinculo gift of liquor to Caliban that makes him believe that they are from a higher social class. In return Caliban has fallen from an almost intellect into the lowest social being, while Trinculo and Stephano have gained their respect, therefore they have the ability to take control over Caliban. In Othello, the same situation is drawn in that Othello and Caliban from The Tempest are both victimized because of their lack of judgement. Othello, a powerful soldier of higher social orders is victimized by Iago. Iago is convinced that Othello believes in him when he says “The Moor is of a free…open nature/think men honest…/ tenderly led by th’nose/ As asses are” (2,1, 398-401). Iago’s jealousy over power is what exhibits and reveals his true inner-evil drive to influence Othello by deception. Othello, like Caliban is easily misled by deception. Othello and Caliban are both quite innocent characters, but they are too easily fooled. Caliban is fooled by the offer of liquor, whereas Othello is fooled simply by deception. It is not until they have witnessed the truth, then they learn the key to the moral line. Othello is a honest, brave soldier and so his knowledge of the human mind is very limited because his words come out loosely speaking of Iago as being “most honest”(2,3,7) suggesting that he lacks any intellect, and therefore is misled by Iago. Iago, like Stephano and Trinculo are really the lowest life beings of society who attempt to gain respect and power by deception.

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The Tempest – Oxford Edition
English Essays


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