What is the significance of the title "The Tempest" in terms of symbolism, imagery, and Shakespeare's time?

Expert Answers info

Domenick Franecki eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write4,282 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

The Tempest starts with an actual storm, or tempest, created by Ariel to bring ashore to the island the men who helped Antonio usurp the throne that belongs rightfully to Prospero. The imagery of the ship in the storm is of a vessel that the high seas and violent winds have torn asunder. As the ship is about to go down in Act I, scene 1, voices cry out:

"Mercy on us!—We split, we split!—Farewell, my wife and children!—Farewell, brother!—We split, we split, we split!" (lines 36-38)

The image of the ship being torn apart has a symbolic meaning as well, as the ship of state (referring to the government) is about to be torn apart too. Antonio, who has wrongfully usurped the dukedom, is eventually to be unseated in favor of Prospero, the rightful duke. The storm is a symbol for the coming...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 410 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write2,050 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial