The sea water is an important image of William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest because it symbolizes the power which can lead to the loss and devastation or which can symbolize the personal success because of being calm and consistent. Thus, the damaging power of the sea water is reflected in the pictures of the tempest when the masses of the water can ruin the territories of the islands and bring much loss.
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The sea water can cause the people’s drowning and much suffering, and this particular feature is accentuated in the text of the play and in the film adaptation of 2010 several times as the reflection of the sea water’s power and the power of the authority.
The image of the sea water as the devastating power is closely connected with the characters of Ferdinand and Prospero. Thus, observing the power of the water, Ferdinand refers to the situation of his father’s sufferings and drowning. From this point, Ferdinand states that his father suffered from “a sea-change / Into something rich and strange” (Shakespeare 27).
In this context, the image of the sea water and its power is closely connected with the image of the tempest as the main one in the play and the film adaptation of 2010. The character of Prospero is presented as the female one in the film The Tempest of 2010. Prospera focuses on the devastating power of the sea water in the final scenes of the film as the way to demonstrate and realize her revenge because of the experienced injustice. As a result, the still sea water is changed into the stormy waters because of the tempest to reflect Prospera’s intentions for the revenge (The Tempest).
The opposite side of the image of the sea water is discussed when Sebastian compares his behavior and mood with the still water. Thus, Sebastian states, “I am like still water – not inclined to go one way or the other” (Shakespeare 41). This consistence and patience of Sebastian are also observed in the scenes of the film. As a result, the image of the sea water can be discussed as the complex one because it serves to represent the devastating power to accentuate the loss of the characters in many cases associated with the natural phenomena or life situations.
From this point, the stormy sea waters and the tempest symbolize the loss and devastation which are expected as the events’ result. The associated image of drowning also contributes to the understanding of the loss and tragedy. However, the focus on the still sea waters is important to present the complete picture of the people’s life full of storms and days with the calm and still sea waters (The Tempest).
Shakespeare relies on the image of the sea water because of its connection with the image of the tempest and as the symbolic background to present the story’s events with references to their deep meaning about changes as the changes of the sea water caused by winds and other natural phenomena. This image is important to be chosen because it is as significant as the major image of the tempest, but it helps to see the play’s idea as the whole one, with references to two opposite sides of being calm and violent or being still and stormy as the sea water.
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Shakespeare, William. Tempest. USA: Saddleback Educational Publishing, 2011. Print.
The Tempest. Ex. Prod. Julie Taymor. USA: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. 2010. DVD.