William Shakespeare 's ' The Tempest ' Essay

1352 Words May 10th, 2015 6 Pages
“Comic characterisation is usually subordinate to the demands of the plot and therefore these characters tend to be stereotypes and/or one-dimensional characters rather than portraying realistic human emotions”. Is this a fair assessment of the ‘low characters’ in The Tempest?
The prevalence of stereotyping and having ‘flat’ characters may be attributed to the strong archetype or creative flexibility (respectively) that this creates for the author. When the audience sees a stereotype, they already know what to expect from the character, allowing the writer to spend more time on using the character for the purpose that they were originally designed for – creating comedic moments and humour -rather than introducing them. Whether this is a fair assessment of Caliban, Stephano and Trinculo is to be decided.
To begin with, Trinculo is an example of a stereotype with more than one dimension to his character. Trinculo is in the unique position of having the comedy not only being likely to come from him, but it is in fact expected because of his nature as the fool of The Tempest. This allows for comedy from him to happen at any point, as it wouldn’t seem too out-of-character even if he was in a bad situation or mood, and Trinculo is in a bad mood for the majority of the play.
In Act 2 Scene 2 he jokes about Caliban being ‘a man or a fish’, entertaining the audience by making light-hearted jokes and acting stupidly (as the audience would expect of him due to his jester costume). But…

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