Shakespearean The Tempest: Contrast between Animal Instinct and Human Reason BY sweetness Tom Swindled Explore how Shakespeare presents the contrast between animal instinct and human reason in the tempest. Themes of animal instinct and human reason can be found in act one, scene two, in which we see Clinical for the first time and act five, scene one in which Prosper gives up his hubris powers and begrudgingly forgives those who have betrayed him, to restore the social order and to make god happy in accordance to an Elizabethan audience.
Prosper feels primitive urges throughout the play but fights ND keeps them under a degree of control within the text. An example of this is when Prosper fights the primitive instinct of revenge showed by the quotation “with my nobler reason against my fury’. This shows that even through his anger clouded mind his clever brain overrules his urges. This is unlike Clinical who comes out with quotations such as “l must eat my dinner” in the middle of a an argument with Prosper who is presented as a moral arbiter by Shakespeare.
This gives the impression of Prosper being a hubris because in essence he is the main figure thin the play and what he decides is right and wrong, dictates the development of the play and its characters. One of the main characters to be Judged by Prospered hubris character is Clinical himself, who the audience believes is simple minded and annalistic.
The latter is more than accurate because he displays characteristics such as the instinct and the primitive urges, though to label Clinical simple could be considered unjust as Clinical is guilty of some of the beautiful prose within the play where he describes his environment with simple lexis such as “big light” in reference to the sun. Clinical represents Man’s basic primitive instincts and his physical sensations. Examples of this are once again the declarative “l must eat my dinner” which is said in the middle of a serious argument.
This signifies Scallion’s primitive urges as as soon as food comes to the forefront of his brain, he automatically blurts out that he is hungry, completely disregarding the serious argument evolving right in front of him. The physical sensations are typified by another declarative used by Clinical, “l had peopled else/ this isle with Sicilians. This is in the middle of Act one Scene two where t is brought to light that Clinical tried to rape Miranda, daughter of the mighty Prosper.
It shows again his primitive nature of trying to reproduce with something he likes the look of and furthering and safeguarding his family and heritage, much alike to the animal kingdom still in existence today. Scallion’s territorial instincts are brought to the readers attention immediately with the declarative “This islands mine by Accords my mother”. This uncovers a major theme and parallel which of there are many throughout the play.
The parallel uncovered at this point is that to usurpation. The usurpation begins Witt usurpation of Prospered throne by his brother, and Prospered quest to re-establish justice by restoring himself to power which in turn leads to Prosper usurping Accords to achieve this goal. As Clinical is spontaneous, instinctive and motivated by personal gain the usurpation really incenses Clinical and leads to an almost savage attack to try and get back what he thinks is rightly his.
He behaves like an animal in this situation for example a lion invading another lions territorial area becomes chaos, and this is exactly what occurs here, although there is a time delay until the attack as Clinical, against the run of his character plans his revenge. However awful the plan the audience can see a different side to Clinical at this stage as he is planning and not acting upon his instincts, which would certainly draw a comparison to Prosper who fights his instincts almost continuously.
Annalistic Imagery is used by Shakespeare to emphasis the child like and simplicity of the mind in regards to Clinical. All this lexis relates to the natural earthy language he expresses throughout the play, this trait linked to his character. “Sty me” is a clear example of this. Clinical uses this word purposely to also get the audience to envisage a sty, a pig habitat, which almost certifies the opinion that they have of Clinical being an animal, with instinctive behavior.
Scallion’s Desire for revenge contrasts with Prospered reasoning with the quotation “With my nobler reason against my fury’ the evidence behind this decision. This appears in Prospered soliloquy Which shows Prosper thinks it is his reason that overcomes his fury although really It was Ariel that whispered the suggestion in his ear”. This makes us wonder from the tart id Prosper acted to achieve the aim of bringing his enemies to a truer knowledge of themselves and then forgiving them, or whether he really wanted to seek vengeance.
This contrasts to Clinical entirely who’s desire for revenge completely overrules him to the extent of worshipping drunkards to achieve his aim of killing Prosper to seek revenge for him usurping his mother as leader of the island. To conclude, the contrast between reasoning and animal instinct is basically the contrast between a human with a good brain and an animal who survives on instinct and spur of the moment urges.
Without reasoning, Prosper wouldn’t have been giving the role of a moral arbiter by Shakespeare as the plot that was so carefully structured would have descended into chaos. Chaos is implemented into the plot carefully by Shakespeare with the instinctive characteristics of Clinical, and his desire to avenge someone who is high up in the social hierarchy. His animal instincts showing that no matter who you are, even a hubris character like Prosper, animal instincts will avenge your wrongdoings (the usurpation by Prosper).