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December 13, 2019, 03:19:58 am

Author Topic: English Advanced: The Tempest and Hag-Seed  (Read 2088 times)

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lu1004

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English Advanced: The Tempest and Hag-Seed
« on: July 11, 2019, 04:09:20 pm »
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Hi,
I have an assignment coming up and i was wondering if anyone could read my essay and provide feedback. It would be greatly appreciated!!!!
Thank you!!

Question:
Do the two prescribed texts studied present the same underlying meanings, or do they provide new ideas about similar concepts. Discuss with close reference to both William Shakespeare’s, “The Tempest” and Margret Atwood’s, “Hag-Seed”.

The comparative study of texts reveals the resonances and dissonances between and within texts. The Tempest by William Shakespeare didactically explores the sheer richness, suggested by the magnificence of the royalty, not only for entertainment but also as a political purpose for the context of the 17th century. Hag-Seed by Margret Atwood is a novelistic adaption of The Tempest, exploring a fragile relationship between the past and the present, using metafiction to recast characters and plot. As a result, the intertextuality of the modern adaption, catalyses modern attitudes, providing new ideas about similar concepts.

Atwood concerns herself with womenfolk’ dignity. Through Hag-Seed, she sheds light on how women are silenced with social laws, confining them to nurturing and nursing. Prospero in The Tempest expects obedience from Miranda in accordance to the patriarchal structure. However, Felix and Miranda share a symbiotic relationship based upon love. Shakespeare’s Miranda is deprived of human freedom, growth or thought, confined and has little to say. Atwood alludes to the lack of women by creating four main female characters; Miranda, Anne-Marie, Estelle and the old lady in which Felix rents his isolated cottage. Her characters are, “forty-odd…the streak of pink in her grey-blonde hair, the shining earrings; the careful nails, a fashionable silver. Her name was Estelle” but are also infants, contained in a silver picture frame. Atwood gives marginalised characters a chance to speak, empowering them. The Tempest has innovated a plot which has allowed Atwood to express the values she holds in women’s rights, colliding with the values Shakespeare held and raised concerns on views built upon women during the 17th century.

Both Shakespeare and Atwood manifest on prisons the characters are metaphorically trapped in. By comparing both texts, the audience are to consider the parallels in which the characters are imprisoned in. Atwood questions The Tempest, asking why Prospero is to be released from “this bare island” to embark on his final journey. Shakespeare uses Prospero’s forcible domination to mirror the relationship between European colonisers and natives of conquered territories, reflecting anxiety about colonisation. On the other hand, the idea of imprisonment and freedom appears in Hag-Seed both literally and figuratively. Instead of the idea of a prison being a place of punishment, Atwood believes it is a place to “learn more about self-control” and to reform the convicted. She uses “Hag-Seed”, a pejorative name Prospero calls Caliban as the title of her book, reclaiming the name from an insult into an acclamation. Just as The Tempest is a play within a prison, Hag-seed itself is also ironically, a play within a novel within a prison. Ultimately, both texts have presented issues that are relevant to the universal audience, allowing the readers to reform their own understanding of the textual conversations presented and why the characters are imprisoned.

The complex use of intertextuality by Atwood shows how a text can influence a new text as well as shed a new meaning to its own text. The concept of ambition is shown in both texts as being a natural consequence and results in revenge. Prospero’s immersion with magic led him to forget his duties of Duke of Milan and ultimately his usurpation. While revealing to Miranda the past, he uncovers and reveals his desire for vengeance as well as acknowledging that he has “neglected worldly ends” which has “awakened an evil nature” in his brother. Atwood puts emphasises on a Felix’s perspective, providing the readers background to sympathise with. Felix’s desire for revenge becomes more obsessive and prevents him from building a life and brought out his duplicitous and self-centred side of his character. Just like Prospero, he figuratively, “he raises up a storm, sets a plan in action and lets it play out”. Although the plot of revenge is focused upon differently, they both display how an excessive hunger for revenge can steer people from a meaningful life and the importance of forgiveness. Both texts present the same underlying meaning, as the characters to find their humanity and release their bitterness to those who betrayed them.

Conclusively, Atwood uses intertextually to acknowledge that Hag-Seed “is just an illusion”, reflecting its role as a text that reimagines The Tempest in a contemporary context. Atwood examines the underlying meaning of The Tempest, providing both the same underlying meanings and new ideas about similar concepts. As a result, Atwood has composed an appropriation, allowing the readers to discover notions of both texts which is dependent on our own experiences.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2019, 06:11:19 am by lu1004 »