Will shakeshearemmm Essay

This essay has a total of 1387 words and 5 pages.


will shakeshearemmm





William Shakespeare
One may find it ridiculous to contrast between Shakespeare and existentialism in its 20th
century form, however one must keep in mind, that existentialism does not appear as a
single philosophical system. It is more an attitude of life, a general vision -
existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre is known to have stated that existentialism was never
invented, it has always existed as the ultimate foundation. Upon that light, why not seek
the foundations from the work of the forefather of all dramatists? It is above all naïve
to claim Prospero’s Epilogue in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest a mere
conventional appeal for applause or the stripping of the imaginary glamour built up by the
plays magic. Even the greatest of artists would rather give away his life than surrender
his art to be judged solely by the public. Art for an artistic genius is practised for its
own sake; art for the purpose of art. Existence for the sake of existence itself -
stripped of meaning, of value and of subjective interpretation. In its bear meaningless
form, something still remains: the necessary Natural Law, a philosophical concept
considered the basis of human well-being, a system of the values that determine human
existence. Throughout The Tempest Prospero’s character portrays an image of a nearly
Nietzchean superhuman capable of disclaiming authority, killing God. He is in control of
every situation and event as if the chain of causes and effects would be a conductible
melody waiting for an artist’s touch. On the other hand he is very human: a wronged
duke and a father, a symbiosis which Shakespeare displayed with the use of
Prospero’s garment as a theatrical tool. An artist is the creator, the maker of
realities yet he remains human, an animal with feelings and urges, ties only waiting to be
cut. The view implied is not far from the ideologies that emerged from the great suffering
of the second world war: a man is capable of constructing himself a framework of personal
and social meaning, but his true animal nature remains unchanged. In the heart of
existence, life has no predefined meaning, it is a mere passage of survival from necessary
birth to necessary death. Prospero's and his daughter's situation on the island was
hopeless, however Prospero had chosen a function for his life - revenge. Prospero created
a meaning for his life, built a synthetic reality to keep him sane on the path towards the
finality of human death. Early existentialism begins to appear. The literatory image
behind The Epilogue of The Tempest greatly involves the attitude and interpretation of
art. Having constructed a window or more or less a door to an imaginary world for the
audience, Shakespeare has succeeded in fusing art and reality. Upon that light it is
incomprehensible to assume his need to address the subjective yet neutral third party, the
audience - shatter the synthetic reality. However, The Epilogue is a beautiful and humble
ending to a story filled with strong magical elements - the control is given to the
audience, they are given Prospero’s magical garment. The passive third party is
given a choice of interaction, chance to rise beyond spectatorship. An interesting aspect
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