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