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Through the transformation of character archetypes, both Hag-seed and ‘The Tempest simultaneously challenge the perspectives and assumptions of individuals, drawing insights gained in relinquishing control/power. Shakespeare’s perspective is shaped by Renaissance humanist values individuals value education and forgiveness. Shakespeare’s The Tempest is a pathetic fallacy of Prospero’s injustice and anger. 

Throughout Prospero’s epilogue, the structure and series of rhyming couplets draw significance to the theatric element that mimics internal change in Prospero. The peculiar rhyming scheme elevates the artistic value present in literature, “I deliver all.. catch the royal, let the elements be free”, “pardoning the deceiver”. The, doubled notions of freedom, from ‘The Tempest’ juxtaposes the turbulent vengeful storm and action, to calmness. As the ‘The Tempest’ calms so does he, indicated by stage directions [Exceunt]. By extension suggests that the element doesn’t control him. He becomes the metaphorical and literal jailor. The epilogue has a sense of catharsis releasing/removing all the values, and characters that inhibited his ability to inherit Christian humanist values, redeeming himself in the epilogue. Further, the metatheatrical element is hinted at via the altered conventions of Jacobean drama in stage directions, [EPILOGUE SPOKEN BY PROSPERO] “let your indulgence set me free”. 

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It displays Prospero coming to the stage thematically linking him to Shakespeare and the play himself. The dialogue with the audience asks them to release him symbolically leaving literature. Atwood diverges from these values through her contextual issues, of emotional isolation and grief, arguing that these values are overcome by educating and selfless actions. Indeed, evident that Hag-seed finds foil characterization in the literature between Prospero and Felix, however, collides via the interpretation of literary appreciation. This is made explicit by the allegorical relationship with Ariel in The Tempest. “If you fix up what I have in mind,” says Felix, “I’m pretty sure I can get you early parole.” 8handz much like Ariel is presented as a respected assistant and colleague after doing Felix’s bidding. Felix’s selfless action reveals his intention to release the authority of 8Handz illustrating the extent of his moral conscience. More heavily implied in “The end game of this obsession wasn’t to bring his Miranda back to life. 

The endgame was something quite different”. The repetition of ‘Endgame’ implies that Felix’s character arc is inherently about the stages of grief. The experience of Fletcher’s correctional has fundamentally changed him, it has helped him overcome the desire to cling to his daughter, recognized in the third person narration “Already she’s fading, losing substance: he can barely sense her”. “What has he been thinking – keeping her tethered to him all this time? Forcing her to do his bidding”, The rhetorical question creates an aura of guilt forcing him to grapple with his grief. Rather than continuing the memory of his daughter, he sets her free. ‘to the elements be free” intertextual reference mirror Prospero’s relinquishment of control, aiding in the growth of Felix. Thus, Atwood unveils the effects of educating and processing grief on individuals. 

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The Tempest’ Epilogue Analysis: Critical Essay.
(2023, October 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 21, 2024, from

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