Why is The Tempest by William Shakespeare an appropriate allusion in Farenheit 451?

Expert Answers info

Alyssa Boldurian eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2019

write10 answers

starTop subject is Literature

Captain Beatty references The Tempest by William Shakespeare at a time when he is manipulating Montag, eventually leading him to implicate himself in the crime of reading a book. A major theme in The Tempest is the difficulty of distinguishing men from monsters. This theme is explored in Shakespeare's play in the relationship between Prospero and Caliban. Each character claims to have treated the other justly, but ultimately it is left to the audience to decide which character they believe.

Similarly, Montag is listening to two very different opinions on the reason books have been banned in his society. Two important quotes from the book illustrate both sides of this argument:

"A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon. Breach man’s mind." Captain Beatty, "The Hearth and the Salamander"

"Do you know why books such as this are so important? Because they have quality. And what does the word quality mean? To me it means texture. This book has pores ."...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 529 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write13,728 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial