The Pursuit Of Discovery In The Tempest And Oscar Wilde's The Tempest

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The pursuit of discovery inherently exists within human nature as a quest to discover something new or something previously known. These discoveries will often lead to the modification of an individual’s beliefs and values due to the gaining of new knowledge. However, these changes may also affect one’s relationships with others and the broader society because their new beliefs and values may conflict with the rigid norms of society. This complex nature of discovery is explored in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest (1611) and Oscar Wilde’s short story The Model Millionaire (1891), with both authors illustrating a discovery that is transformative for the individual whilst simultaneously representing the greed which exists within human nature.

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Similar to the ignorant character of Prospero in The Tempest, the character of Hughie in The Model Millionaire views himself as a high-class citizen compared to poorer people. The arrogant tone in “you told that old beggar…” represents that although he feels pity for the man, symbolised in “…Hughie could not help pitying him…”, he still chooses to ignorantly call him an “old beggar”. However, as he makes the discovery that this man is actually one of the richest men in town his emotions quickly change. The change of tone in “what on earth do you mean?” represents his surprised sense that such as rich person would want to model as a beggar. Ultimately, he is stereotyping the character of this rich man based on his monetary value. Furthermore, he thinks of himself as a fool in front of him when he finds out he is rich, suggested by “what a duffer he must think of me!”, but not when he still thought he was poor. This also represents the modern sense of hierarchy individuals possess. Furthermore, in today’s society the top one percent of income earners own more than forty-eight percent of global wealth which emphasises the moral of the short story which is “millionaire models are rare enough; but, by Jove, model millionaires are rarer …show more content…
Similar to the oblivious character of Prospero in The Tempest, the father of the woman Laura that Hughie wants to marry in The Model Millionaire, place his importance in money rather than the compassionate character of Hughie who his daughter would like to wed. Hughie makes a confronting discovery that he can only marry the girl he loves if he has ten thousand pounds of his own. The ignorant tone of Laura’s father in “come to me my boy, when you have got ten thousand pounds…” suggests that he cares more about money than he does for his daughter’s love. This emphasises that individuals with a lower social class are forced to face confronting and emotionally tragic discoveries when they feel left out in society due to their lack of wealth and knowledge. On the other hand, due to Hughie feeling pity for the poor man not knowing he is rich, represented in the remorsefulness in “poor old fellow”, that rich man was able to discover the kindness of Hughie and felt touched by his considerate nature. The hyperbole in “he was in the highest spirits after you left…” represents the enlightened nature of the rich man after he had witnessed the kind-heartedness of Hughie and as a result also gave him the ten thousand pounds he needed to marry Laura. Ultimately, it can be seen that there are two types of individuals in the modern

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