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To a great extent are quality texts consistently being modified, recycled, and transformed to extend meaning in different contexts, as it creates effective textual conversations in the texts studied in the module. Margaret Atwood’s novel Hag-seed can be viewed as a modern interpretation of the Shakespearian play The Tempest, thus allowing readers to develop different perspectives from the texts. This also is seen as an appropriation, and by applying resonances and dissonances it extends meaning in other contexts. Hag-seed fulfills this through the inclusion of corresponding characters and ideas within the Tempest, including the quality of the text, assessing how it’s writing particularly incorporates powerful characterization, distinguishing the message, values, and language within both texts and how it is still relevant today.

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 a modern audience. 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’.

Another significant theme is Prospero’s underestimated guilt had allowed him to use trickery motives to get justice for his daughter and in conclusion to resolve the guilt present in him. ‘the tempest’ represents an act of trickery to obtain justice from Miranda, as Prospero uses his magic to create the tempest and traps the people on the boat on the island and uses them as leverage to obtain justice. Shakespeare uses the trickery of vice to obtain justice 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.

Felix feels guilty about his actions and he wants to keep his conscience of his daughter in peace. Atwood represents the guilt of Prospero into Felix by using logical factors as there is no more colonization, therefore Atwood utilizes the use of self-guilt due to past actions which enables him to seek justice. As Felix has a sense of guilt towards his daughter as he is resentful for letting his work get in the way of nurturing Miranda as he shows 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 emphasize conditions of Miranda allowing the audience to understand the guilt present as he missed the chance of spending the last moments of her life with her due to his work,

Through the use of central themes such as revenge, Atwoood illustrates Prospero’s vehemence revenge plot against his brother Antonio 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. Mark his [Antonio’s] condition and the event. Then tell me

If this might be a brother

This is much like 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. “His best creation, his wondrous treasure, crushed. Trampled on the floor. Erased.” – truncated

– motivation for revenge

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– a sense of loss and grief

– metaphorical

– layered images Felix is obsessed with his production of The Tempest. He has been planning this production for years and it is carefully crafted the connection of both Protagonists through their lust for revenge

Both personas are known as the puppeteers of their own story, the ones that control and manipulate others to enact their plan of revenge. This is demonstrated with Prospero and the use of Ariel and Caliban who have been imprisoned for Prospero’s own malicious deeds.

We examined how context helps each text resonate amongst the audiences as well as highlighting these differences. These were articulated through the context of the composition of the text as well as literary devices and the mirroring of authors and values upon their texts.

Atwood challenges perspectives, whilst portraying universal themes to draw new, post–modernist meaning to the original text by illuminating ……………………. And the responses and dissonances between the characters.

The textual conversation in Margaret Atwoods Hagseed reveals resonances and dissonances with Shakespeares’ the tempest. the text aligns through the characterization of Felix corresponding with Prospero. This is due to both texts utilizing the themes of………….. The Tempest


  • Concepts and values resonate with past, present, and future audiences


  • Magaret Atwood’s post-modern interpretation of the Tempest
  • Keeps Shakespearian concepts while modernizing values
  • Concepts within the texts


Atwood is able to reinterpret and adapt, The Tempest, to fit a more modern context.

This is done through the exploration of the connection of both protagonists through their common lust for revenge. And the role of women, and how Elizabethan values challenge the views of modern feminism. It is evident that Atwood is greatly inspired by Shakespeare and in turn, is able to transcend Shakespearean values and concepts through time, place, and into a modern context.

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