Some of the most prominent themes in “The Tempest” have been following the usual patterns of allegory and different thematic speculations that was being experimented by Shakespeare, coming as one.
Shakespeare has interwoven the magical and fantasy elements into this plot accommodating several factors that brought the theme to a special place.
“The Tempest” really comes as unique in its backdrop and much like “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” creates the place for the fantasy to be brought to life along with social and political criticism. The element of fantasy pervades various orders in the theme and breaks through the illusory forces bringing an idea of reconciliation in the play. There are various motives, order and structures that join together to form some of the most interesting observations brought through this play.
There are also adherences to classical examples and even principles of unity within the play. The entire play is supposed to take place within a few hours and thus have a racy pace but the dramatic theme spaces out in a broader perspective. There have been several emphases of prevalent themes including reconciliation as well as the powers of the supernatural versus the real, material world. The conflict with the reality and the illusive has been important in fabricating the grounds of “The Tempest”.
The foregrounds, settings and the right mood, reiterating the atmosphere are excellently mixed and matched throughout the play.
Music and masque has also been a prominent feature in the play in depicting the various orders of incidents it deals with. Music and masque are thus the medium through which much of the changes within the play are depicted. There are more pervasive instances of the play and according to Renaissance critic, Coletti, these have achieved the balance of harmony and conflict, the separation from the elements of nature and their confluences, quite effectively.
Without the strong presence of the background imagery the play would not have stood with strength. In the play Prospero is the central figure who orchestrates much of the on-going processes of the incidents that take place. Critic, Ian Ferguson, has explored the various qualities through which Prospero’s character have depicted the course of the play.
Prospero is essentially a ruler but also an artist and a powerful metaphysician, who has not misused his capacities to go beyond what he would believe to be moral. Ariel and Caliban have been two of the other characters in the play who have critical roles each to play.
Calibans have been one of the primitive peoples who originated from the very core of start of human civilization. In that essence, Caliban himself depicts the wholeness of the play in many ways. Ariel has a unique characterization with elemental symbolism of air and the simple allegory of relating to other creatures belonging to this realm.
“The Tempest” as a play is very symbolic and related to the diversities of the elements of the atmosphere.
There is a contrast with Caliban’s lower and earthly dimensions with that of Ariel.