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Play Review: The Tempest

The Tempest, a tale of spirits and Kings.  A tale of lies and backstabs.  The play starts out with a huge wreck of a Kings ship, King Alonso.  When the survivors finally realize where they are they are put into a trance by Ariel, a magical spirit of Prospero.  Prospero is a magician on an enchanted island.  This is the island the Kings shipwrecked into.    He has a daughter named Miranda who he puts to sleep with a magical spell.  He did this because Miranda was upset by the wreck and worried for the survivors.  Ariel comes to the King to tell him of the entrancement and that he has taken care of Prince Ferdinand, son of King Alonso.  Ariel becomes upset and complains about his duties but is reminded by Prospero that he must work to be released of the magical imprisonment of the tree trunk.  The deceased witch who used to live on the island cast this imprisonment unto Ariel.  
Prospero reveals to the then awaken Ariel that he was once the Duke of Milan. He was banished from Milan and sent away with Miranda in a small boat. The reason he was banished was for the study of magic over government.  His brother, Antonio, had him thrown off with a little help from King Alonso.  While on the boat they ran into the island and Prospero continued to practice his magic for years to come.  Prospero decided to create a storm and have it bring all of his foes to his island.  When the ship arrives Prospero sends Caliban, his slave and son of the late witch, to go get some wood.  He was enslaved for trying to rape Miranda after being taken in by Prospero after his mothers death.  Caliban leaves and Ariel returns with Ferdinand.  Miranda sees Ferdinand and becomes intrigued by the sight of a man her age.  Prospero realizes that they will fall in love but still acts very stern and strict with the young prince.  He decides to imprison him.  Miranda begs for his release.  
Gonzalo, one of Prosperos old friends tries to tell King Alonso by telling him that the prince is alive and well.  Ariel appears and puts Gonzalo and the King to sleep.  While they sleep Antonio and Sebastion, the Kings brother, conspire to kill the two sleeping men.  Ariel again intervenes and wakes the sleeping men up before Antonio and Sebastion can go through with their plan.
Meanwhile Caliban is gathering wood and comes across Trinculo.  He tries to hide but Trinculo sees him.  It is very apparent that Trinculo is not a bright man.  He hears a little lightning and thunder and jumps under Caliban's coat making them look like some evil monster.  While this is happening Stephano, another survivor of the wreck, appears.  Stephano looks at the two and immediately tries to curry favor with the beast.  Trinculo comes out from the cloak and celebrates the reunion with Stephano.  Stephano, Trinculo, and Caliban take off together drinking and carrying on.    In the next scene Ferdinand is moving a pile of logs for Prospero.  Miranda goes to talk to him and they both agree to get married after they have professed their love for each other.  Prospero hears this conversation and is satisfied.  By this time the trio of Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo continue to drink and carry on.  Again someone conspires to kill Prospero.  Caliban tries to get Stephano to kill the magician. He also wants him to steal his magical books.   Prospero is now trying to call a banquet together.  Ariel again informs Prospero of the trios bad intentions and Prospero has them cursed by evil spirits.    
Prospero realizes after receiving information from Ariel that his magic has done some very bad things to the cursed people.  He decides to have it reversed.  He also decides to quit his magic and go back to being the Duke of Milan.    When he renounces the magic his victims see him as the Duke.  He forgives them for their deeds and they forgive him and acknowledge him as the Duke of Milan.  The Duke then tells them about Mirandas engagement to ... more

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Paganistic Beliefs in Beowolf

The epic poem Beowolf is one of the founding pieces of literature known to man. The author of the poem is unknown. It is believed that he was a monk or someone of the Christian faith. Although during the time of Beowolf there would not have been Christian beliefs. Although in the poem there are more than twenty-five lines of references to the Christian belief. The poem is about good vs. evil, or the heavens vs. hell. Paganistic implications are also in the poem. Paganism would be the true religion in the time when this poem was written, or first told. An idolatrous person is a pagan. A pagan is someone who worships many gods. Pagans believe in fate. They think that your life is inevitably happening as though it has already been determined by a higher source or power. Which religion, paganism or Christianity, is more dominant and decides more in the poem Beowolf.
In Beowolf Grendel is described as a powerful, murderous, loathsome man-eating monster that lives at the bottom of a foul mountain lake. In the poem Grendel is portrayed as one of the devil's creature or the devil himself. The following passage shows us how Grendel was born in evil;
Conceived by a pair of those monsters born
Of Cain, murderous creatures banished
By God, punished forever for the crime
Of Abel's death....(20-23)
Grendel is a horrifying creature.  If he feels love, it is only that of killing people and drinking their blood. There is never a passage describing him as any type of a good being. He is always referred to as a demon, monster, or evil savage. In today's society when anyone thinks of the devil they

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think of dark, gloomy, grotesque places or settings. In the poem Beowolf the only time that Grendel comes out is when there are these same type of settings. This is one description of where Grendel stalked;
That shadow of death hunted in darkness,
Stalked Hrothgar's warriors, old
And young, lying in waiting, hidden
In mist, invisibly following them from the edge
Of the marsh, always there, unseen.(74-78)
Here is another more descriptive passage, "Out from the marsh, from the foot of misty/Hills and bogs, bearing God's Hatred, Grendel came,..."(92-94). When referred to in the bible the devil is everyone's enemy. In this line Grendel is referred to in the same perspective, "So mankind's enemy continued his crimes, "(79). The devil is also thought of as the one and only who is against God and his people. The devil is known to tempt people to do sinful or wrongful things. It is almost like a battle between the devil and the people of the Christian belief. Here is a reference to that battle as if Grendel is the devil, "So Grendel ruled, fought with the righteous,/One against many, and won;..."(59-60). Good also wins a fight in the poem. When Beowolf is battling Grendel, it is as if God is battling the devil. This is seen in these passages,
Screams of the Almighty's enemy sang
In the darkness, the horrible shrieks of pain
And defeat, the tears torn out of Grendel's
Taut throat, hell's captive caught in the arms
Of him who of all the men on earth

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Was the strongest.(467-472)
In the battle between Grendel and Beowolf a paganistic belief comes into play. The death of Grendel is said to be controlled by fate. The poem reads, "...But fate, that night, intended/Grendel to gnaw the broken bones/Of his last human supper...."(416-418). Then a few lines later Christian thoughts are brought back when describing the death of Grendel. Like in these lines, "And yet his time had come, his days/Were over, his death near; down/To hell he would go,..."(486-488). The question arises, is Grendel's death controlled by a paganistic destiny or the Christian belief of what life brings you. Since Grendel was a son Cain, which is a Christian belief, the reader should think that Grendels death was one without fate and only the sinful death he deserved.
The death of Beowolf is much like that of Grendel. They are both described in paganistic and Christian ways. The pagans believe that their life has already ... more

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