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The textual conversation between both texts shares a relationship between themes, ideas, intertextuality, and context. Themes such as justice, guilt, and revenge in order to be more understandable for the audience today. Through the use of resonances and dissonances, it allows the readers to make connections between characters, plots, and particular scenes in both Hag-seed and The Tempest based on the context.

Justice is a critical thematic element in both The Tempest and Hag-seed. In both texts, Prospero and Felix reveal similarities in the concept of justice. In the tempest, Shakespeare shows the act of justice being served through moral righteousness. Shakespeare expresses Prospero’s desire for justice through an unjust act which leads to a betrayal and hence leads him to moral unrest that needs to be resolved. Prospero vents to Miranda by stating an allegory in order to deliver a broader message “He whom next thyself of all the world I loved and to him put the manager of my state”. Showcasing his love and trust for Alonso which establishes the impact of the unjust event that he experienced was exponential for him to seek justice as he feels more remorse. Contrastingly in Hag-seed, Atwood reflects the idea of justice through Felix, advocating the concept of moral righteousness by interpreting Shakespearean literacy which resonates with modern audiences. Atwood uses a modern approach as Felix experiences an unjust act from a trusted colleague that was under his guidance. Atwood emphasizes the concept of moral rightness as she presents an allegory “his only excuse was that he’d been distracted by grief at the time” which establishes that Felix was aggrieved by the death of his daughter that he blames Tony for using him at the wrong timing, therefore, portraying that justice should be served as it is morally unjust to use another’s weakness for a personal gain. The resonance between both characters portrays that justice is motivated by Miranda. The comparative study of ‘The Tempest’ and ‘Hag-Seed’ reveals the similarities in the concept of justice. Hagseed broadens the idea of the tempest as it shows justice in a different light which allows the current audience from the 21st century to gain a better understanding of the Shakespearean last text ‘The Tempest’.

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In addition, another significant theme that created effective textual conversations between The Tempest and Hag-seed is guilt. The resonating theme of guilt was portrayed in both texts by Prospero and Felix. In The Tempest, Shakespeare goes to great lengths to resolve the guilt that he felt for Miranda through inhuman characteristics, as stated in the high modality “irreparable is the loss, and patience says it is past her cure” This represents Shakespeare’s inhumane act of Prospero letting Alonso believe his son has drowned for hours when he has been imprisoning him. Prospero uses his magic to create The Tempest and trap the people on the boat on the island and use them as leverage to resolve his guilt. By getting closure Prospero was able to move forward with his life and not live in the past. Similarly, in Hag-Seed Felix feels guilty about his actions and he wants to keep his conscience of his daughter in peace. As Felix has a sense of guilt towards his daughter as he is indignant for letting his work get in the way of taking care of Miranda he coveys through the truncated sentences “High fever. Meningitis. They’d tried to reach him, but he’d been in rehearsal with strict orders not to be interrupted”. Atwood uses full stops to highlight the conditions of Miranda allowing the audience to empathize with the guilt present as he missed the opportunity of spending the last moments of her life with her because of his work. The theme of guilt also dissonates as Felix and Prospero suffer different losses when it comes to their daughters. Felix physically lost his daughter due to an illness and he regrets not answering his phone. Prospero’s loss is more in terms of the time lost between the two because of his exile from Milan.

Another theme that played a significant role is revenge. Prospero’s revenge plot against his brother Antonio is illustrated in The Tempest which was initiated when he is banished and lost his position of authority as the Duke of Milan by Antonio, who is his brother. As stated in the exclamatory statement, “Mark his condition and the event. Then tell me If this might be a brother”. Prospero expressed this to Miranda when recounting the story of his exile from Milan. It is evident that Antonio’s betrayal leads Prospero to plan his revenge. Although Antonio’s plotting with Alonso constitutes treason, the fact that Antonio was his brother made the transgression even more devastating. This resonates with Felix’s revenge plot against his second-in-command Tony in Hagseed when he is eliminated as the Artistic Director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival. This is seen through the truncated sentence “His best creation, his wondrous treasure, crushed. Trampled on the floor. Erased.” This seems like a driving factor to motivate Felix for revenge due to his sense of grief from the cancellation of his production which he was planning for years.

By consistently, modifying, recycling, and transforming quality texts to extend meaning in different contexts effectively creates textual conversations to a great extent. The parallels between the two texts are apparent through the portrayal of universal themes such as justice, guilt, and revenge. Atwood is able to reinterpret and adapt, The Tempest while keeping the Shakespearian concepts while modernizing values through her exploration of resonances and dissonances between the characters.

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