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The Tempest Shakespeares last full play is a demonstration of the artists mature powers In this play he illustrates his ability to fit various elements of life into a single context It is a play for all seasons having elements of romance comedy fantasy political intrigue and tragedy Gerald Schorin in his essay Approaching the Genre of The Tempest labeled this last play a tragicomic romance He quotes Kermode The pastoral romance gave him the opportunity for a very complex comparison between the worlds of Art and Nature and the tragicomic form enabled him to concentrate the whole story of apparent disaster penitence and forgiveness into one happy misfortune controlled by a divine Art This comprehensive quality of the play while giving it its prominence has also made it possible for comparisons to be made between it and many of Shakespeares preceding plays It has been compared to Hamlet Macbeth As You Like It A Midsummer Nights Dream King Lear and many others However for the purposes of this paper I will look at the similarities between The Tempest and King Lear as they concern the central themes and the relation of the main characters to the world around them James P Driscoll in his essay about The Tempest pointed out that King Lear and The Tempest display several important similarities Betrayal and preparation for death constitute central themes in both plays evil is radical and incorrigible in each and each focuses on the nature of ideal identityBloom 85-- whether to be a contemplative and open-minded man who understands that the world is not his to control or one who vainly tries to control his world Driscoll also pointed out the major differences between the two characters while King Lear pleads in vain to the gods to bring him justice Prospero through his own magic secures justice for himself Lears helplessness is made apparent by the coming of a storm and a tempest illustrates Prosperos
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