Historical Contextualization

On this page you will find essay 2, which was Historical Contextual Evidence. This paper, just like the first essay is looking at Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”. In this paper I looked at two different secondary sources that helped in the understanding of this play. One of the sources was Ben Jonson’s play “Volpone”. This play was written 5 years before Shakespeare wrote “The Tempest” and helps to present the deception used throughout the play. The other source was E.M.W. Tillyard’s work about the Puritans banishment as well as the politics of the time. This helps in the understanding why Shakespeare might have written about what he did.

The process I took in writing this paper was a little different from the first essay. First, I began by trying to understand the uses of deception in this play. I wanted to know why Shakespeare hid the uses of deception throughout the play and that’s when I found Jonson’s “Volpone”. In this play, the plot revolved around deception and was one of Jonson’s most famous plays. During the time of writing his play, Jonson must have saw the use of deception almost everywhere he looked. From the uses in “Volpone” I connected them to the uses in “The Tempest” and went into depth as to why Shakespeare used them. He hid them in plain sight and most people overlooked them, I even did the first couple times I read the play. This is where Tillyard’s writing about politics comes into play as well. Deception was used heavily in politics at the time. Politicians would try to twist the words of others to make them look bad, they even make the wording in laws appear hard to understand so that there were easier ways around them. I connected all of these together, for Prospero was the Duke of Milan earlier in the play, because Prospero twisted the words of others to play with their minds and even make them believe he was dead. I also used Tillyard’s idea of the banishment of the Puritans. I connected this with Shakespeare’s religious beliefs and tried to explain why he wrote the banishment of Prospero and Miranda. All of this can be found underneath.

The next step in the process was the peer revision. Just like the first essay I was presented with ideas that helped me better the paper. After taking them into consideration and making the corrections the final essay started to form. Then I was presented with feedback from the professor that ultimately turned into the final polished essay.

Overall the biggest thing that I need to do to better myself in the next papers to come would be time management. I need to not put this off to the last day and do it the night before. I need to find the examples sooner in the week and not dilly dally around ideas and contemplate to much on one or another.

The steps in this paper were the same as the others, it began here with a rough draft. After the rough draft there was a peer edit that can be found here. The next step was to get feedback from Dr. Scheler before doing the final draft that would be graded which you can find here.

Hunter Larson
Literary Theory and Writing
Drew Scheler